Germany's foreign intelligence agency spied on the U.S. State Department, FBI, American weapons companies and the embassies and interior departments of other allied countries, according to new reports from the country's public radio station RBB Inforadio and German news outlet Der Spiegel.
The radio station claimed that Germany's BND intelligence agency spied on the FBI, U.S. arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Unicef, the World Health Organization and the Red Cross, reported The Guardian.
Respected German news magazine Der Spiegel also claims that BND conducted a widespread surveillance operation monitoring the phone calls and emails of the U.S. Department of the Interior and similar agencies in Poland, Denmark, Austria and Croatia.
The diplomatic offices of the U.S., France, Great Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the United Nations and the Vatican were also spied on, according to Der Spiegel.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was allegedly targeted, as was Hansjörg Haber, a German diplomat who headed a European Union observer mission to Georgia from 2008 to 2011 and was a senior diplomat to Brussels at the time.
RBB Inforadio did not identify any sources for its claims, and German officials declined to comment on the report. However, German lawmakers are investigating the matter, and the parliamentary committee overseeing German intelligence agencies is scheduled to meet later in the day, according to Reuters.
"The facts behind these various press reports will be comprehensively investigated and of course the chancellery is involved in this investigation," German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz told reporters in Berlin.
Another government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters that "political reconnaissance of partner countries isn't part of the BND's remit," reported The Associated Press.
The allegations are particularly awkward for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose office oversees the country's intelligence operations. In 2013, after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies were conducting widespread surveillance inside Germany and had even bugged Merkel's mobile phone, the chancellor told the Obama administration that "spying among friends is not at all acceptable against anyone, and that goes for every citizen in Germany," reported The Telegraph.
"It's not just about me but about every German citizen. We need to have trust in our allies and partners, and this trust must now be established once again," she told reporters.