Edward Snowden has alleged the National Security Agency (NSA) engaged in industrial espionage.
In an interview with Germany’s ARD TV channel, Edward Snowden said the agency would spy on big German companies that competed with US firms.
The former NSA contractor, who was granted temporary asylum by Russia, also said he believed that US officials wanted to kill him.
Edward Snowden’s leaks caused outrage in Germany when it came to light Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone had been bugged.
After the row broke out last year, Angela Merkel accused the US of an unacceptable breach of trust.
Last week President Barack Obama indicated to Germany’s ZDF TV that US bugging of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone had been a mistake and would not happen again.
Referring to the German engineering company Siemens, Edward Snowden told ARD: “If there is information at Siemens that they [the NSA] think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.”
Edward Snowden also said he believed US agents want to kill him, referring to an article published by the Buzzfeed website in which intelligence operatives are quoted as saying they want to see him dead.
In August, Russia granted Edward Snowden asylum for one year, after he leaked details of US electronic surveillance programs.
The US has charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence.
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