London In a rare public comment on its intelligence operations, the U.S. National Security Agency said Monday that it had 39 documents containing references to the late Princess Diana but had never targeted her telephone communications for monitoring.
The statement came in response to British media reports that U.S. intelligence officials had intercepted Diana's calls on the day she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. According to the reports, the officials had assured Scotland Yard investigators working on a pending report that 39 classified documents about her final conversations revealed no sign that her death was anything but an accident.
In its statement Monday, the agency said it had released information about the documents earlier. "The 39 NSA-originated and NSA-controlled documents referenced in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request in 1998 only contained references to the princess, and she was never the communicant," the statement said. "NSA did not target Princess Diana's communications."
The agency declined further comment pending release of the Scotland Yard report, which is due out Thursday.