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Report: German intelligence agency spied on FBI, US firms, UN health agency, Intl court


BERLIN — German public radio station rbb-Inforadio reported Wednesday that the country's foreign intelligence agency spied on the FBI and U.S. arms companies, adding to a growing list of targets among friendly nations the agency allegedly eavesdropped on.

The station claimed that Germany's BND also spied on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the World Health Organization, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and even a German diplomat who headed an EU observer mission to Georgia from 2008 to 2011.

It provided no source for its report, but the respected German weekly Der Spiegel also reported at the weekend that the BND targeted phone numbers and email addresses of officials in the United States, Britain, France, Switzerland, Greece, the Vatican and other European countries, as well as at international aid groups such as the Red Cross.

The claims are particularly sensitive in Germany because the government reacted with anger two years ago to reports that the U.S. eavesdropped on German targets, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, who declared at the time that "spying among friends, that's just wrong."

German lawmakers have broadened a probe into the U.S. National Security Agency's activities in the country to include the work of the BND.

Government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz declined to confirm the reports.

"The facts behind these various press reports will be comprehensively investigated and of course the chancellery is involved in this investigation," she told reporters in Berlin. Parliament's intelligence oversight committees would be informed, she said.

The spy agency refused to elaborate beyond what Wirtz said.

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