The NSA will probably spy on foreign leaders like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the UN General Assembly in New York this week, applying a "full court press" that includes intercepting cellphone calls and bugging hotel rooms, former intelligence analysts told NBC News.
A top-secret report on a previous NSA operation against Iran's U.N. delegation illustrates just how extensive this electronic surveillance can be. The document, obtained by NBC News, shows the U.S. bugged the hotel rooms and phones of then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his entire 143-member delegation in 2007, listening to thousands of conversations and learning the "social networks" of Iran's leadership.
The three-page document, called "Tips for a Successful Quick Reaction Capability," recounted what happened when the NSA was asked by the Bush administration for blanket surveillance of Ahmadinejad's September 2007 trip to the UNGA. Ahmadinejad was then in his first term as president but already notorious in the West for questioning the Holocaust and saying Israel should be wiped off the map.