US Officials: Merkel, Other World Leaders Were Spied On

Say most of the surveillance has stopped


WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The National Security Agency spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders, U.S. officials acknowledged, but most of the spying has stopped.

The halt to the phone tapping on about 35 world leaders came after the existence of such surveillance appeared in an internal Obama administration review that was started over the summer, the officials told The Wall Street Journal.

The White House called off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official told the newspaper.

Other programs scheduled to end are still going on because they haven't been phased out completely, the officials said.

The account -- the administration's first public acknowledgment it tapped world leaders' phones -- suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing the spying was going on, the Journal said.