Israel's signal intelligence Unit 8200 and America's National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Egypt after the election of Mohamed Morsi as president in 2012, specialist magazine Israeli Defence claimed on Saturday.
In a report based on documents released by WikiLeaks, the Israeli magazine said that the NSA was asked to expand its cooperation with Unit 8200 to collect information about Egypt. It is alleged that the two agencies cooperated on many missions against "strategic targets" across the Middle East, the Gulf States, South Asian countries and the predominantly Muslim states which once were part of the Soviet Union.
The joint US-Israel intelligence programmes, reported Israeli Defence, collected information about local policies in such countries, including details about their armed forces, the economy, diplomatic channels and other issues. Unconventional weapons and active "terrorists" were also under scrutiny; Lebanon's Hezbollah, Palestinian resistance movements and global jihadists have apparently been common targets.
Such cooperation, claims the magazine, has led to the development of strong ties between the NSA and Unit 8200. The agencies exchange raw data and intercept communications; provide analyses; and build joint target banks. Each has representatives of the other in their offices as well as in their countries' embassies. Israeli Defence noted that Unit 8200 benefits from the advanced US facilities for decoding messages and using electronic means to collect information, including the technology known as FMS.
The scale of this intelligence cooperation between the Americans and the Israelis dates back to before 2007, when the CIA and Mossad spied on Iran's nuclear plants. The magazine pointed out that the NSA and Unit 8200 signed a cooperation agreement to secure their internal networks in 2012.