The New York Times cites documents leaked by Edward Snowden as revealing that the US intelligence operatives covertly monitored Israeli drones and missile systems while simultaneously exchanging intelligence with the Israeli Defense Forces. The US State Department has declines to confirm or deny the report.
Washington's National Security Agency spied on "high priority Israeli military targets," The New York Times reported on Nov. 3 in a 7-page article based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The in-depth overview details highly classified documents leaked by Snowden. They include documents outlining the American intelligence agency's monitoring of Israeli targets, namely Israel Defense Forces drone aircraft and Israel's Black Sparrow missile system.
Classified documents cited in the report further confirm the reports of past cooperation between the NSA and the elite IDF signal intelligence Unit 8200, which regularly exchanged raw materials obtained by signal intelligence, that is, spying.
Top Obama administration officials have in the past praised Israel's intelligence capabilities and expressed gratitude for receiving access to it.
The NYT report comes on the heels of outrage in Europe over the revelation that the US listened in on European leaders, including tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry remarked on the affair, acknowledging for the first time that the NSA's surveillance may have been over the top.