“Saudi Arabia used Israeli software Pegasus to spy on Rached Ghannouchi”


The British site “Middle East Eye” (MEE) revealed that Saudi Arabia used spyware “Pegasus” designed by the Israeli firm “NSO” to monitor the Tunisian speaker of the Parliament and leader of the “Ennahdha” movement, Rached Ghannouchi.

“Ghannouchi’s phone number is one of 50,000 numbers found on a list obtained by the” Forbidden Stories “investigative consortium and the” Amnesty International “NGO, MEE reported.

Customers of the Israeli tech company have reportedly targeted users of these numbers since 2016.

The two organizations mentioned investigated the victims of the “Pegasus” computer intelligence system.

“Forbidden Stories” informed Ghannouchi that his primary phone number was on the list of numbers targeted by Pegasus.
The nonprofit also told MEE that Ghannouchi’s phone was selected for monitoring by a customer in Saudi Arabia in 2019.

It is not yet confirmed whether “Pegasus” managed to infiltrate Ghannouchi’s phone, according to the same source.

The said client, who works with the Israeli firm NSO, also targeted senior officials in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, as well as many opponents of the Saudi monarchy, suggesting that the client in question is a Saudi operator. .

Commenting on the case, Ghannouchi told MME, “I am appalled that a sister country is targeting the speaker of a democratically elected parliament. This is unacceptable and I urge the Tunisian security services to seriously investigate this. case”.

And the leader of the Ennahdha movement continued, “This is yet another attack on our Parliament and our democratic institutions. Even as the anti-democratic forces try to undermine the demands of our people, Tunisia will continue to be a a source of inspiration for all supporters of democracy in our region and around the world “.

British site MEE has tried to reach out to Israeli company “NSO” and the Saudi Embassy in London on several occasions to seek their comments on the matter, but has so far received no response.

The British newspaper “The Guardian” last month published the results of an investigation by 17 media outlets, according to which the Israeli spy program “Pegasus” had spread widely around the world and had been “misused. “.

The investigation indicated that the governments of at least 10 countries are among the clients of the Israeli firm “NSO”, including Morocco and Saudi Arabia, while Rabat and Riyadh have overturned accusations of spying on phones. public and foreign figures, using one of the Pegasus software.

“Pegasus” is used to spy on human rights activists, lawyers, politicians, journalists and monitor emails, retrieve photos and record conversations, after their phones have been hacked.

Based in Tel Aviv, the Israeli firm “NSO” was created in 2010, and has around 500 employees.

* Translated from Arabic by Hajer Cherni

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