Sudanese militia RSF (Rapid Support Forces, ed.) do not have a good reputation at all. It is the de facto private army of the country’s richest man and second in the military dictatorship’s hierarchy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagal. The RSF emerged from the notorious Janjaweed militia, which international organizations say have committed crimes against humanity in Darfur, western Sudan.
Currently, Dagal’s men fight as mercenaries in neighboring countries and have close ties to the Russian Wagnerites. Human rights organizations also accuse them of kidnapping and killing anti-government protesters. Protests have continued in the country since last year’s military coup.
Now the RSF has an important tool that can turn the country’s power struggle in their favour. A joint investigation by Lighthouse Reporters, the Greek website Inside Story, and the Israeli newspaper Haarec revealed that a private Cessna plane carrying advanced spying technology from Intellexa arrived in Khartoum in May.
With it, RSF members could access the contents of their competitors’ phones.
There is also talk of the Prague spy show in Brussels. Read the findings of the European Parliament investigation here:
Article in the newspaper Harik He also cited a commander of the Rapid Support Forces, who said the program was smuggled from Khartoum to Darfur to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Sudanese army.
For months, investigators have been trying to solve a series of companies linked to cybersecurity firm Intellexa, which is headed by former Israeli agent Tal Dilian. The aforementioned private plane, which landed in Khartoum for 45 minutes, must belong to him.
Neither Dillian nor his companion Merom Harpaz communicate with the journalists nor the Sudanese militias. Therefore, they did not make a statement regarding the results.
Predator has already caused a scandal in Greece
Tracking the movements of Dillian’s plane showed that he had been flying around Europe as well as countries in the Middle East or Africa in recent months. According to these indicators, they export highly dangerous technology to many undemocratic countries, for example Angola, Mozambique, Kenya or Equatorial Guinea.
“Equipping the RSF with advanced surveillance technology will not only fuel the brutal repression and killing of brave Sudanese protesters, it will also stifle hopes for democracy in the region,” said Annette Hofmann, an analyst at the Clingendael Institute.
Similar to the more famous Pegasus, the spyware is used to monitor journalists, human rights activists, and political dissidents. The program, produced in Europe under the name Predator, gets into phones by clicking on a link that looks like an ordinary article from a news site.
The phone of Greek business journalist Thanassis Kokakis was also hit in a similar way. The revelations caused a scandal in Greece – especially after it emerged that the country’s secret service had been spying on opposition leader Nikos Androuulakis using the same software.
From the Czech point of view, it is interesting that many of those dummy domains that look like news sites are registered in the Czech Republic. This is evidenced by the documents that the investigators had the opportunity to consider.
In this context, Harik newspaper mentions that the Israeli millionaire Dillian has a “known partner” in the Czech Republic.
The eight-seater Cessna, which brought spyware to Sudanese militiamen, also landed in Prague last year. There was no secret flight, but the international event ISS World Conference, which Haarec writes about as the main European trade show for spy technology. During a recent press conference in the European Parliament, this was mentioned by MP Sophie Ent Veldtova, who heads the European Parliament’s investigation into the Israeli Pegasus programme.
Haarec writes about the show as a lavish event held at the Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague, which is only for employees of government agencies and technology suppliers. Ordinary citizens of Prague do not have the opportunity to enter it.
According to the Israeli newspaper, the Israeli company NSO Group, which produces Pegasus software, also participated in the exhibition in Prague. While the matter is being investigated by the European Parliament and put on its sanctions list by the United States, it has been warmly welcomed in Prague as the “famous NSO group” and has also become the show’s main sponsor.
The Spanish government has admitted that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles spied on the use of the Israeli Pegasus spyware. Spain is now asking who is behind the surveillance of their cell phones.
According to investigators, Dilian’s Intellexa and its Predator software pose a greater risk than Pegasus software. Indeed, NSO was still under the control of the Israeli authorities, and although it seemed to have acted on the edge of the law, it was still subject to a certain amount of regulation. This does not apply to Intellexa. Dilian uses a complex and confusing offshore company system for its business, and companies called Intellexa are also registered in Greece, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands.
between sponsors Intellexa was also an exhibitor at the Prague Fair. After reading the following lines, her introduction sounds like satire: “We believe everyone has the right to feel safe in their lives. That’s why we’re integrating technology, enabling law enforcement and intelligence agencies to collect and analyze data in the most advanced and secure way possible, and empowering them to generate insights to win the digital race.” .
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”
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