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White House Image Credit: NYT

Dubai: According to a report published on Politico, the US government believes that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cell-phone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, D.C., according to three former senior US officials with knowledge of the matter.

Despite the flagrant violation, the administration of US president Donald Trump, did not condemn the Israeli government or threaten action against it, the officials added.

The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as “StingRays,” mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information.

They also can capture the contents of calls and data use.

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates — though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz denied the report.

“Israel doesn’t carry out any espionage operations in the US,” Katz said.

“The US and Israel share a large amount of intelligence information and work together to prevent threats and the strengthening of security of both countries.”