World

Report says Germans spied on John Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton

BERLIN — Germany’s foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Rodham Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

The newsweekly reported that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013 as part of its surveillance of telecommunications in the Middle East.

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The agency also recorded a conversation between Clinton and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan a year earlier, Der Spiegel said.

The magazine didn’t give a source for its information, but said the calls were collected accidentally, that the three officials weren’t directly targeted, and that the recordings were ordered destroyed immediately.

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In Clinton’s case, the call reportedly took place on the same ‘‘frequency’’ as a terror suspect, according to Der Spiegel.

The tapping of Clinton’s call was reported Friday by German public broadcaster ARD and Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

If true, the revelations would be embarrassing for the German government, which has spent months complaining to Washington about alleged American spy activity in Germany. Last year, German media reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden prompted a sharp rebuke from Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel was allegedly among the US intelligence agency’s targets.

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Spokesmen for the US embassy in Berlin and the State Department in Washington declined to comment on the latest reports. The Germany intelligence agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

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