IT'S ISRAEL, NOT US [Daily Tribune (Bahrain)]
(Daily Tribune (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ? ? It was Israel that hacked the millions of French phones and not America, a new report claimed yesterday. In the latest ex traordinary twist in the global eavesdropping scandal, Israeli agents are said to have intercepted more than 70 million calls and text messages a month. Up until now the French have been blaming the U.S., even summoning the country's Paris ambassador to provide a n explanation. But today's Le Monde newspaper p r o vides evi dence that it was in fact Israeli agents who were listening in. France first suspected the U.S. of hacking into former president Nico las Sarkozy's communications network when he was unsuccessfully trying for re-election in 2012. Intelligence officials Bernard Barbier and Patrick Pailloux travelled from Paris to Washington to demand an explanation, but the Americans hinted that the Israelis were to blame. The Americans insisted they have never been behind any hacking in France, and were always keen to get on with the French, whom they viewed as some of their closest allies. They were so determined to be friends with the French, that U.S.
briefing notes included details of how to pronounce the names of the Gallic officials. A note published in Le Monde shows that the Ameri cans refused to rule out Mossad, Israel's notoriously uncompromising intel ligence agency, or the ISNU, Israel's cyber-intelligence unit. Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the branch of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which deals with cyber-attacks, is referred to throughout the note. It reads: "TAO intentionally did not ask either Mossad or ISNU whether they were involved as France is not an approved target for joint discussions." Le Monde's article, co-authored by U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose main contact is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, however, hints that the Israelis were doing the spying. `This is not fare' Meanwhile, EU leaders called for a new understanding with Washington on intelligence gathering during the EU leaders summit. At the close of a summit over shadowed by the spying row, all 28 EU leaders "stressed that in telligence gathering is a vital element in the fight against terrorism". The scandal widened this week with German authorities saying they have information that Chancellor An gela Merkel's mobile phone was being tapped by US intel ligence, prompting Berlin to summon the US ambassador over the issue. "Spying between friends, that's just not done," Merkel said. In another poten tial embarrassment for Washington, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said yesterday he would call in the US ambas sador to Madrid to explain reports of American spying on the country. "We do not have evidence that Spain has been spied on ... but we are calling in the ambassador to get information," Rajoy said at a closing press conference. ? ?
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