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Säpo 'never authorised' US surveillance

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Säpo 'never authorised' US surveillance
08:28 CET+01:00
Sweden's Security Service Säpo did not give permission to the US embassy to conduct surveillance in Sweden, according to chief Anders Danielsson.

"Of course Säpo has not give any sort of permit or permission or approval for a foreign state to conduct operations in Sweden which are not in accordance with Swedish law," Danielsson told Sveriges Radio's Ekot news programme.

"We are here to take measures against this type of crime," he said.

Danielsson however did not rule out that the US embassy had cleared its surveillance of Swedish citizens circulating in the vicinity of the US embassy in central Stockholm with other representatives for Säpo or law enforcement agencies.

"It could be that representatives for the embassy have spoken with representatives from Säpo or for the Stockholm police. It is after all ten years that this has been going on," he told Ekot.

Danielsson explained that there remains a difference between "talking with an individual official" and "more formally registering" a practice.

The US embassy on Monday acknowledged its surveillance programme conducted at embassies in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, seeking to ease tensions after a Swedish prosecutor opened a probe into the legality of the practice.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley traced the origins of the surveillance programme to the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, arguing that the it had become customary procedure.

"We have acknowledged that we have a programme around the world where we are alert for people who may be surveilling our embassies because we recognize that they are potential targets of terrorism," he told reporters.

Crowley added that the US embassy would be "happy to answer any questions that any government might feel has about the nature of the security measures to protect our embassies."

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