Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied Politico's report that his country is said to have installed a cell-phone surveillance system around the White House in Washington. There are no wiretaps for cell phones around the US presidency because he has banned espionage against the US, Netanyahu said. US President Donald Trump said he did not believe the allegations.
"I have a directive: no intelligence connections in the United States, no espionage," Netanyahu said during a trip to Russia.
Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who is also responsible for intelligence services, had already rejected the report. Israel does not operate spy missions in the United States, Katz said. Rather, the US and Israel exchanged "a lot of intelligence information and work together to prevent threats and increase the security of both countries," he said.
Former US employees report
Politico , citing former US security officials, said that in the center of Washington in 2017, a system for monitoring phone calls and SMS text messages was discovered. Investigations by the US Federal Police and the secret services have shown that the so-called imsi catchers used for it were installed by Israeli agents.
"These devices should certainly be used to spy on President Donald Trump," said one of the former US security officials cited. The Trump consultants were also the target of the mobile radio tracking devices. It is unclear what results the monitoring of mobile devices has brought.
Trump told White House journalists Thursday he "does not think the Israelis are spying on us." He could hardly imagine this.
Imsi catchers are used by police, among others, to locate and convict criminals. Two years ago, US security officials discovered several imsi-catchers "near sensitive places, such as the White House," Washington said. The government did not tell who was behind the assembly of the surveillance systems.