Germany spies on Albania to monitor 'organised crime'

AFP
The emblem of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) at the entrance of the Mangfall baracks in Bad Aibling, on June 6, 2014
The emblem of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) at the entrance of the Mangfall baracks in Bad Aibling, on June 6, 2014 (AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

Berlin (AFP) - Germany's secret service has been spying on Albania for years to keep tabs on "organised crime", Der Spiegel claimed on Saturday, days after it was revealed that Berlin had been eavesdropping on Turkey.

In a report to be published Sunday, the German weekly says that even before Albania joined NATO in 2009, it was on the BND intelligence service's list of "key states" to monitor.

The report, seen by AFP ahead of publication, comes just a week after Der Spiegel revealed that German intelligence listened in on at least one phone conversation made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and had spied on NATO ally Turkey since 2009.

The revelations angered Ankara, which summoned the German ambassador this week to demand an explanation.

Germany was rocked by a major spying scandal last month when two alleged German double agents working for US intelligence were unmasked.

The government took the extraordinary step of demanding that the CIA station chief in Germany leave the country, following intense pressure to respond to what many Germans viewed as a humiliating violation of national sovereignty.

The German government was already angry over revelations from fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden last year that Washington had conducted intensive spying operations in Germany, including eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.