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German magazine reports Israel spied on Kerry last year

Reuters

August 4, 2014 | 10:35 am

<em>U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 4. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters</em>

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 4. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that Israel and at least one other intelligence agency were listening in on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's unsecured phone calls last year when he was holding nearly daily negotiations for peace with various leaders in the Middle East.

The magazine cited "several sources from intelligence circles" as saying that although Kerry has a secure phone at his mansion in Georgetown, while he was traveling and needed to make a quick phone call, he sometimes used an ordinary telephone that the intelligence agencies listened in on.

"A large number of these conversations, which went via satellite, were listened to by at least two intelligence agencies, including the Israelis," the magazine wrote. "It is probable that the Russians and Chinese were also listening in."

The magazine said that Israel thus often knew precisely what Kerry was talking to the other sides about. Kerry, the magazine said, was aware of the risks but he wanted results and personal conversations were more important to him than concerns from his security advisers.

The magazine said that Israel and the State Department in Washington had no comment on their report.

Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Sandra Maler

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