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Head of Danish intelligence acknowledges phone tapping in conflict zones

November 21, 2013, 17:14 UTC+3 21
It is believed the official refers to Afghanistan
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© EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

COPENHAGEN, November 21 (Itar-Tass) - Danish Defense Intelligence Service had been intercepting mobile phone calls in conflict zones abroad, its head, Thomas Ahrenkiel admitted in an interview to Politiken paper, adding that Denmark shared this information with the countries with which it maintained relevant cooperation.

The paper believes he was referring to Afghanistan, where Denmark still has about 300 soldiers stationed, but Ahrenkiel declined to elaborate.

This is the first time Ahrenkiel lifted a veil of secrecy from the Danish intelligence’s operations abroad in order to avoid misunderstanding amid the recent revelations by the CIA former contractor Edward Snowden, Politiken says.

Snowden has recently leaked some data about cooperation between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Norwegian special services saying 33 million calls from Norwegians’ cell phones had been intercepted in just one month. The same documents were published about spying in Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, and India.

Ahrenkiel expects a similar leak about Denmark.

“I cannot deny a scenario similar to that in Norway, so I want to say there has been no large-scale tapping of Danish people’s phones by the US,” he said. “The data in question have been gathered by the Danish Intelligence Service abroad and then referred to the NSA.”

According to Defense Minister Nicolai Wammen, the Danish government “has no reasons to launch an investigation” in relation to this statement.

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