All U.S. embassies and consulates around the world spying on host nation citizens

Wayne Madsen
Online Journal

(WMR) — With revelations that U.S. embassies in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm have carried out spying operations against the host citizens of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden from the respective embassies, comes news to WMR that the system carrying out the secret surveillance — the Security Incident Management Analysis System or SIMAS — not only also spies on citizens of the two Nordic partners of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, namely Iceland and Finland, from U.S. embassies in Reykjavik and Helsinki, respectively, but spies on individuals from all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world — from Santiago, Chile, and Canberra, Australia, to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Maputo, Mozambique.

The Finnish paper, Helsingin Sanomat, is reporting that the Finnish Security Police (SUPO) has asked U.S. authorities about the activities of SIMAS in Helsinki. One nation that has adopted a sanguine reaction to the U.S. embassy spy program is Denmark, described by one intelligence insider as a “zone of control” for U.S. surveillance activities in Scandinavia. The cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark in surveillance operations began under Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and it was one of the reasons he was rewarded by Washington with the job of Secretary General of NATO.

The Norwegian and Swedish governments have demanded answers to questions from U.S. authorities about SIMAS spying but State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley, a retired Air Force colonel who has historically been assigned by the CIA to oversee the Clintons, whether at the White House or, now, at the State Department, claimed that the government of Norway had been informed by the United States of SIMAS surveillance from a Surveillance Detection Unit (SDU) located in a building near the U.S. embassy in Oslo.

On November 4, Crowley was asked at a State Department press conference about his earlier statement that Norway had been informed about SIMAS. The question and answer session:

“Q . . . on Monday when I asked you, you said that the Norwegian Government was aware of these activities. They say they are not. So who’s lying here?”
A. “I’m, we, the security of our Embassy involves cooperation between our security officials and Norwegian security officials. Ill just stand by those words.”

Q. “But why have you hired a building outside Norwegian your Embassy in Norway, in Oslo, and filled it with Norwegian police officers and also Norwegian military officers?”
A. “That’s a better question to ask our Embassy. I haven’t been there in a while, so I can’t provide you any insight.”


Q. “But just to follow up. But both the State Department in Norway and also the Justice Department in Norway said they’re not aware that you have some activities outside your Embassy building. Why haven’t you informed the Norwegian Government?”
A. “Well, look, embassy diplomatic posts all over the world are ripe targets for a terrorist attack, whether they’re U.S. embassies, whether they are the embassies of other governments. It is right and proper that we would take appropriate steps to protect our diplomatic posts anywhere around the world, and we would expect any government to do the same, whether its somewhere over out overseas or here in the United States. So we have a program where we look carefully to make to evaluate if we believe our Embassy is under observation and potentially under threat. We share that information across the United States Government. But as appropriate, we share that information with our host government partners. The essence of addressing this challenge which confronts the United States and other countries in the West is the very kind of intelligence cooperation and law enforcement cooperation that has been a hallmark of our alliances for a number of years. So how much the host nation government knows about specific activities, I can’t say. But everything that we do is fully consistent with our security arrangements that we have with any host nation government anywhere in the world, including Norway.”

Q. “Can I just follow up? Is there written agreements about this –”
A. “I can’t say. At this point, I would just defer further questions back to our Embassy in Norway.”
Media reports that U.S. embassy spying on civilians has been going on for the past 10 years, since 2000.


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