Abdullah tops list of world leaders ‘spied’ by NSA in 2009, says German daily


(TMI) – A secret document revealed by a German daily, Der Spiegel, shows that former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (pic) was at the top of a list of world leaders targeted for surveillance by the United States’ National Security Agency.

The list was compiled in 2009 and contained the names of 122 world leaders, starting with Abdullah and ending with former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Other leaders include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

According to the paper, the documents did not provide sufficient information to determine the types of surveillance, with the NSA saying it would not comment on the matter.

Abdullah took over the premiership from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2003. He resigned six years later following Barisan Nasional’s poor performance in the 2008 general election, after calls led by Dr Mahathir for his removal.

During his tenure, Abdullah came under the spotlight after it was revealed that Scomi, a company owned by his son Kamaluddin, was allegedly involved in supplying dual-use technology to Libya’s clandestine nuclear-weapons programme. This followed an admission by Pakistani nuclear scientiest Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan that he had shared nuclear information and designs with other countries.

In 2004, a US report named Abdullah for being involved in an Iraq oil-for-food programme scandal, but he denied the allegation, saying he had merely endorsed a valid legitimate business organised by the United Nations in collaboration with the Iraqi government.

The Spiegel report, published yesterday, cited former CIA agent Edward Snowden as the source for the top-secret document.