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Friday, December 20, 2013

U.S., British intelligence spied on former Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Barak

Documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden have shed light on a list of surveillance targets used by British and American intelligence services, the Guardian reported on Friday, which include former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The information was also published on Friday on the website of Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.

The target list also included other high-ranking offices such as German government offices, the EU Commissioner's office and several United Nations bodies.

A 2009 document cited in the report shows that one of the targets under surveillance included the Israeli prime minister at the time, Ehud Olmert. 

The Guardian added: "Three other Israeli targets appeared on GCHQ documents, including another email address understood to have been used to send messages between the then Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, and his chief of staff, Yoni Koren.

Last month, the New York Times reported that the NSA tracked Israeli military targets. The report, citing papers leaked by Snowden, describes the close ties between the NSA and Israel's Military Intelligence Unit 8200.

According to the New York Times, the documents said the NSA was tracking "high priority Israeli military targets," such as Israeli drones. Another Israeli military target specified in the files is the Black Sparrow missile system – a target missile simulating a ballistic missile at high altitude. 

The system was recently used by Israel during an anti-missile defense exercise, while the U.S. was preparing for possible military action against Syria.

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