STRASBOURG, France, July 24 (UPI) -- Washington needs to explain why it's treating its European allies as if they're planning terrorist attacks, the president of the European Parliament said.
President of the European Parliament Martin Shulz took part in an interview from France with European constituents. He expressed frustration with a U.S. surveillance program dubbed Prism, which apparently targeted European computer systems in the United States.
"I understand that the Americans want to fight terrorism. But I don't know that in the office of the European Parliament in Washington, terrorist attacks are being prepared," he said. "If it is true, they must justify why they treat their nearest allies like enemies."
Details of the surveillance program were leaked to the media by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, who is seeking political asylum in Moscow.
The White House said it wants Snowden to face espionage charges in the U.S. justice system.
European lawmakers backed legislation early this month calling for an in-depth investigation into the surveillance program.
Catherine Ashton, the top foreign policy chief for the EU, said she wanted "urgent clarification" on the issue.
Members of Parliament expressed "grave concern" about allegations similar programs are operated by EU member states Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany.