Macron was spied not with Pegasus but with UAE’s DarkMatter software

Macron was spied not with Pegasus but with UAE's DarkMatter software

The french president Emmanuel Macron he was not spied on by the software Pegasus nor by the Moroccan intelligence services, as reported this Thursday by several Spanish and international newspapers. To spy on Macron another software called DarkMatter, manufactured by a United Arab Emirates company, Edge Group, and purchased by the French DGSE (Directorate General for External Security), which has DarkMatter but not from Pegasus, owned by the Israeli NSO Group.

The French DGSE has close ties with companies in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which host a large part of their servers in neighboring Qatar for security reasons and Islamic terrorism. The French opted in their day to buy DarkMatter, instead of his rival Pegasus.

Now, according to Israeli analysts, in a twist to try to mislead their movements, French intelligence would have tried to blame Morocco for spying on Macron, but the point is that the Moroccans do not have the Pegasus, they only have one landmak or geolocator that establishes the position of mobile phones.

Israeli-created software is only sold for millions of dollars to friendly states and with a confidentiality clause that, as OKDIARIO has learned, contemplates the immediate termination of this license in case of misuse. A case of “misuse” would be spying on the president of a country allied to Israel, such as France. In addition, according to the same sources, “among the spied telephones is that of the King of Morocco himself, something that no Moroccan would dare.”

At the company DarkMatter Is property of Faisal Al-Bannai, eldest son of the general who commands the Dubai Police Force (UAE). The software invented and managed by the EDGE Group company in UAE is similar to Pegasus: You can listen to calls and record with the cameras of the spy phone, in addition to accessing emails, content of messaging applications and even positioning of its carrier. That is, it is the competence of Pegasus And like this one, it is undetectable by the owner of the infected smartphone.

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The French state, like the Moroccan state, does not have the cyber espionage tool Pegasus, a famous name since it began to be leaked last Saturday that it had been software to spy on the content of 50,000 mobile phones, 189 journalists and several Arab families in a joint work of 80 journalists from 17 media organizations from 10 countries under the coordination of Forbidden Stories, a non-profit media organization based in Paris, France, and with technical support from Amnesty International, which carried out forensic analysis of mobile phones to identify traces of spyware. They do not have it because NSO Group has not sold it to them.

The company of Al-Bannai, located in Abu Dhabi, it became famous in the light in 2016 for its connection to “Project Raven”, a secret initiative to allegedly defend the UAE from other governments, terrorist threats and hacking of human rights activists. But Raven Project pledged the then emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, his brother and other close collaborators; to Nadia Mansoor, wife of the imprisoned human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, to the British journalist Rori Donaghy and hundreds of targets in Europe and the Middle East, including the governments of Yemen, Iran and Turkey.

The DGSE, the French equivalent of British MI6, and the American CIA have been using Emirati spyware for years, allegedly for the purpose of preventing terrorism. But the use of this tool was not only used for that purpose, but also to monitor the phones of senior Moroccan officials a few years ago, amid serious tensions when the French seamlessly supported Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta and Melilla. The other victims of the DGSE, in addition to Macron’s ministers, would have been some French journalists who cover political and national issues.

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The Spanish CNI (National Intelligence Center) does have Pegasus for their jobs since 2015. However, some sources consulted by OKDIARIO argue that in the case of espionage on leaders of the Catalan Generalitat during the process this software would not have been used, but another called Candiru.

BDS y Citizenlab

But the operation has had another leg, advertising and dissemination. For several years two non-governmental organizations, BSD and Citizenlab, have carried out information campaigns on the actions carried out by Forbidden Stories, the group located in Paris. Both NGOs also frequently support Palestinian claims against Israel. In fact, BDS calls itself the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) which “works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.” BDS is located in the United States and Citizenlab in Canada.

The same Israeli analysts consulted by OKDIARIO now frame this problem with Pegasus in the disagreement with the Abraham Treaty that was not signed on September 15, 2020 by some Arab countries, in clear disagreement with the irruption of Israel as an ally against the emerging nuclearization from Iran.

It is also especially curious that many of the names of the spied are already known using the program Pegasus in Rwanda, Azerbaijan, Morocco, India, United Kingdom, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and France and the list of people spied on in Spain is unknown.

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