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US embassies act as spy centers across world

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The US embassies across the world are operating as Washington’s espionage agencies with a CIA agent holding a key position at the diplomatic mission, a former US intelligence expert tells Press TV.

“Every single American embassy is an intelligence collection facility. The really second in charge of every embassy is the CIA station chief,” Scott Rickard, former US intelligence linguist, said in a Saturday interview with Press TV.

The remarks come after German prosecutors revealed last week that they had arrested an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, over spying for the United States.

German government sources said the detained BND employee is suspected of having spied on a parliamentary inquiry in Berlin into US surveillance on German citizens and politicians.

“This is really nothing new. This is the kind of thing that Americans have been at really for over half a century. They have been monitoring all the communications of all the different consulates and embassies around the world,” Rickard stated.

German federal prosecutors opened a criminal investigation last month into US surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

The German probes came in the wake of last year’s revelations by American whistleblower Edward Snowden about US and UK spy agencies’ surveillance programs.

Leaked documents released last October revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been tapping Merkel’s phone, which provoked outrage in Germany.

In addition, Snowden’s leaked documents showed that the UK, using hi-tech equipment housed on its embassy roof, has been spying on the German parliament and Merkel’s offices in the Chancellery.

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