icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Germany sent helicopter to snoop for NSA spy equipment at US consulate

Germany sent helicopter to snoop for NSA spy equipment at US consulate
Germany infuriated its American ally after it sent a helicopter to seek out listening posts at the US consulate in Frankfurt, in the wake of revelations that the National Security Agency spied on the European country.

The helicopter flew twice over the consulate, just 60 meters above the building, as German staff took high resolution photographs of potential surveillance equipment on the roof. No listening posts were found, but chinaware inside the consulate was damaged during the operation. The flyover took place on August 28 and was confirmed by officials on both sides after being reported in local media.

"The message to the American friends was meant to be: ‘Stop. Germany strikes back!,’" Spiegel magazine quoted an unnamed German official as saying.

Documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden this summer revealed that the organization intercepted large amounts of data exchanged between German citizens without any legal authorization. The information also showed that the US maintains spying posts in its embassies around the world. The revelations sparked widespread demonstrations in Germany – a country which is wary of surveillance, largely due to its Stasi past.

An insider source told Focus magazine that the US viewed the helicopter incident as a “major provocation.”

But on Monday, officials tried to downplay the situation. A US spokesman in Frankfurt told The Local newspaper that "The helicopter incident was the subject of an embassy conversation with the foreign ministry but no letter of complaint was sent to the German government.” German representatives neither confirmed nor denied the media’s version of events.

However, the anonymous German official confirmed to Spiegel that the symbolic flyover - reportedly ordered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff Ronald Pofalla - was a gesture of defiance.

“It is a shot across the bow of the Americans," the source stated.

Radomes stand on the former monitoring base of the U.S. intelligence organization National Security Agency (NSA) in Bad Aibling, near Rosenheim, southern Germany (AFP Photo)

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.