Germany Denies Report on US Surveillance Center

Berlin  -- Germany's federal intelligence agency Thursday denied a newspaper report that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was building a surveillance outpost near Frankfurt, saying the site was a US Army facility.

The Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reported that the chief of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Gerhard Schindler, had disclosed the NSA's plans during a closed-door meeting Wednesday of parliament's interior committee.

The BND rejected as untrue the newspaper report of Schindler's testimony.

"According to statements to the media by the US military and others over a long period, the new construction in Wiesbaden is a US Army project which the BND has nothing else to say about," it said.

The US Army said the facility in Wiesbaden, a city west of Frankfurt, will gather military intelligence for US forces in Europe and will cost 124 million euros (163 million dollars).

The Consolidated Intelligence Centre was expected to be completed by the end of 2015, a spokesman told dpa. It would house elements of the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, which is currently at another base in Germany.

There has been outrage in Germany following US whistleblower Edward Snowden's disclosures that the NSA was spying on allied governments and their citizens through the so-called PRISM programme.

In addition to speaking to US President Barack Obama on the issue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for strict European Union rules on the protection of personal data and demanded that US intelligence services adhere to German law.

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