Israel plants devices near White House to spy on Trump - report
A probe launched by the FBI and other U.S. agencies has uncovered that the Tel Aviv is responsible for planting mobile phone spying devices near White House in an attempt to seize records of Trump's phone calls, according to a Politico report citing former three U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Israel reportedly planted StingRay surveillance devices near the White House in an attempt to capture President Donald Trump's cellular telephone activity.
An investigation by the FBI and other U.S. agencies concluded that Israel was responsible for the act, according to a Politico report citing former three U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The miniature surveillance devices mimic telecommunications towers to gather information, including the contents of phone calls. The US government concluded Israeli operatives were most likely to have put them in place to spy on Donald Trump and his associates, the news website reported.
"It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible," one U.S. official told the Politico on condition of anonymity.
Trump administration has not made any statement yet.
The StingRay devices, Politico reported, were discovered near the White House and other "sensitive locations" in the nation's capital. They mimic cell towers in a bid to fool cellular telephones into passing on their location and other identifying information, as well as call and data information.
An anonymous official said U.S. agencies concluded following a sweeping forensic analysis that the devices were likely intended to spy on the president. The assessment was made within the past two years, but a former senior intelligence official told Politico that the Trump administration has not taken any action against Israel, nor privately scolded its leaders, following the conclusion.
"The reaction ... was very different than it would have been in the last administration," the official cited by Politico said. "With the current administration, there are a different set of calculations in regard to addressing this."
"I'm not aware of any accountability at all," the official added.
StingRay surveillance devices are regularly used by police forces, and Vice News pegged their estimated cost at upwards of $150,000 each.