Several ‘authoritarian’ governments have used Israeli software to spy on the cell phones of journalists, activists and managers around the world. This is what emerges from the leaks of an investigation conducted by the Washington Post and 16 other international newspapers.
The software, sold by the Israeli NSO Group and called Pegasus, was created to allow governments to track terrorists and criminals. Among the governments that have used it to spy there would be – writes the WP – that of Victor Orban. And from the papers it appears that people close to Jamal Khashoggi, the murdered Saudi reporter, also ended up in the crosshairs.
“The story is totally unacceptable, if it is true”, commented the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during a press conference in Prague.
The investigation, which was also attended by the Guardian, reveals that journalists and activists have ended up in the crosshairs of ‘authoritarian’ governments. The Israeli software was allegedly used by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to target the cell phones of people close to Jamal Kashoggi, the murdered Washington Post reporter. But also from the Hungarian government of Victor Orban, which allegedly used the technology developed by NSO as part of its war on the media, targeting investigative journalists but also the small circle of independent media managers.
The list of phone numbers reported by the Pegasus investigation includes more than 50,000 numbers, concentrated in countries renowned for the surveillance of their citizens and NSO Group customers. The list does not identify who decided to enter the phone numbers or why, and it is also not clear how many cell phones were targeted or spied on. Among the numbers identified so far there would be those of various heads of state and prime ministers. And among those of journalists who appear in the list, dated 2016, there are reporters from various newspapers including CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Voice of America and Al Jazeera.
According to the Guardian, in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most important political rival – opposition leader Rahul Gandhi – has been selected twice as a possible surveillance target from dozens of politicians, journalists, activists and critics of the Government of India featured on the list.
The ex-president of the United States, who gave the order to start the military operation in Afghanistan in 2001, believes that Biden was wrong when he began to withdraw troops from this country. Now retribution for this decision awaits the Afghans who helped the US military
ото: Rahmat Gul / AP
Former US President George W. Bush, under whom the US deployed troops to Afghanistan in October 2001, called the withdrawal of the US military a mistake. He expressed the corresponding opinion in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
“I think about the translators and other people who helped not only the US military, but also the NATO forces. It looks like they were just left to be slaughtered by these very cruel people, and it breaks my heart, ”Bush said. Afghan women and girls also face “untold suffering” under Islamist rule, he said.
The US military has been in Afghanistan since 2001, the mission in the country began after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for which Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) claimed responsibility. About 3 thousand people became victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, the main targets of the attack were the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
After the terrorist attacks, George W. Bush ordered the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, aimed at eliminating the terrorists involved in the attacks. The war in Afghanistan became the main part of this operation. According to official data (* .pdf) of the Pentagon, in the period from 2001 to 2014, when the military operation Enduring Freedom was officially ended, 2,218 US troops were killed. These statistics do not include losses incurred by the US Army since 2014, when a joint NATO operation to support the Afghan government was announced. Despite the fact that the United States formally ceased hostilities, the American military continued to participate in clashes with the Taliban and strike at the positions of terrorists.
The Russian side believes that the presence of the Americans in Syria, although dictated by the need to fight the remnants of the “Islamic State” (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), is still unnecessary, added Lavrentyev. He believes that the Syrian army can independently ensure the security of the state, and Iran is also helping to fight terrorism in this country.
“I think that the prospect [вывода всех иностранных войск из Сирии] there is. At least, our Turkish friends convince us of this, who constantly emphasize that finding [там] Turkish troops are temporary measures, ”Lavrentyev concluded.
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In December 2018, Donald Trump, then the US President, announced that the US military would leave Syria. He explained his decision by the defeat of the main part of the IS militants. Reuters later reported that Washington decided to leave 200 of its troops in the Middle East at a base in the At-Tanf area, as well as a 200-man peacekeeping contingent in the northeast of the country.
Lavrov outlined the conditions for Russia’s entry into the Afghan conflict
Now, according to the authorities, there are about 900 American troops in Syria. The Pentagon said that they considered the withdrawal of troops premature, since the fight against IS continues. The US military “is not dealing with other issues, broader issues within Syria related to the civil war,” said agency spokesman John Kirby in May.
At the end of last week, US troops left Bagram airfield, which was the main base of the coalition forces in Afghanistan. After the withdrawal of a significant part of the US contingent, militants of the Taliban movement (banned, recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia) became active in the country, which managed to take control of several regions.
SERCAN DINC / MİLLİYET According to the information received, the MIT’s local spy network in the region, Ulaş Dersim Kod Ulaş Doğan, who is responsible for many bloody acts in Turkey and who is on the Red List of Terrorists Wanted in the Red Category of the Ministry of Interior as well as the INTERPOL Red Bulletin; He was informed that he was in search of sensational action against Turkish individuals in the north of Iraq.
It has been learned that Ulaş Doğan, who is trying to organize the civilian population in the cities of northern Iraq against Turkey on behalf of the organization, has recently started information gathering activities about Turkish citizens in the region in order to respond to the successful operations against the organization’s administrators in Iraq and Syria. For this purpose, Ulaş Doğan, who came to the region to work on the action plan, was neutralized by the MIT on 13.06.2021 in the district of Süleymaniye / Kaladize.
Defense Policy Analyst Turan Oğuz said, “Turkish security forces continue to neutralize the so-called senior executives and experienced members of the PKK one by one. Previously, Sofi Nurettin in northern Iraq on May 8, and Doctor Hüseyin in Mahmur on June 5, 11 “Salih Cizre was neutralized in Mahmur in June. These were carried out about 150 kilometers inside our border. This operation was carried out in Kaladze, about 115 kilometers away, northwest of Sulaymaniyah.” said.
WAS USED IN THE OPERATION?
Regarding the MIT’s operation in Sulaymaniyah, Oğuz said, “This needs to be evaluated in the same context as the previous ones. This operation is an operation carried out by MIT’s own means. What I can deduce from this is that it was shot down by SİHAs. Because both the power of the strike and its limited impact on the environment draw attention I personally think that SİHAs were used. This means that UAVs and SİHAs operated by MIT were used in this operation.” made statements.
“Turkey struck closer this time. Again, it finds it one by one and neutralizes it.” Oğuz said, “Here, the strength of our intelligence and the MIT’s ability to conduct an operation alone draws attention… You will carry out both manned intelligence activities on land and unmanned intelligence activities from the air simultaneously. You will do it for a long time. You will do it for a long time. “You have to hit without running away. This is a very important skill,” he said.
“TURKEY IS BEING COMFORTABLE, 150 KM FROM IRAQ”
Stating that the MIT is very professionalized in the region, Oguz said, “Even 150 km from the border, Turkey behaves as if it is at home. They haven’t come up with a solution yet.” said.
Minister Süleyman Soylu, in his statement at the 107th District Governorship Course Draw Ceremony in Ankara, touched upon the operations against the PKK. Reminding that the number of participation in the PKK terrorist organization in 2015 was 5 thousand 558, Minister Soylu said, “Last year, 53 people participated in the organization. 20 people since the beginning of the year. 5 of them are from abroad such as Germany and Greece. In other words, 15 people. Probably this year will be lower than last year,” he said. said.
Stating that the number of drug-related deaths was 941 5 years ago, Minister Soylu said that this number has decreased to 314 as of 2020.
“The number of terrorists in the country fell below 250”
Stating that the PKK, which carried out 2,817 actions in 2015, decreased to 331 in 2020, and 276 of them took place across the border, Minister Soylu said, “Because they can’t get their heads out of their caves. We’re already putting their heads in those caves. Thanks to the increase in our capacity and the increase in our operations, the number of terrorists in the PKK’s country has dropped below 250 for the first time in its history.” he said.
“PKK leaders are begging”
In the continuation of the Minister’s statement, “Don’t worry, they know too. They will never see this number again. The so-called senior executives of the terrorist organization are begging, they say, ‘we gagged weed’. used the phrases.
Pointing out that there is an atmosphere of peace and trust in every corner of Turkey, Soylu emphasized that this was achieved with the strong leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the support and will of MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli.
“BEAUTIFUL DAYS ARE COMING AHEAD”
Pointing out that the country is going through a difficult period and people lost their relatives during the fight against Kovid-19, Soylu said:
“We faced a calamity, an epidemic and a disease. We overcome it, but thanks to your patience, dignity and fortitude. Street incidents took place in many developed countries of the world, people made a demonstration, but this noble and beautiful person of Anatolia, the state, did whatever he said. Harmony , by agreement… May Allah be pleased with him, he made great sacrifices in overcoming the epidemic. Mothers, teachers, children, headmen, shopkeepers, business people, farmers, everyone?. Mask piracy was carried out in the world. Big countries stole each other’s masks. They plundered the markets. There is no such thing here. Nothing happened. This is due to the nobility of the nation. This is due to their respect and love for each other. Good days are coming, we all persevered together, I hope we have reduced this epidemic together. Hopefully, vaccines are also coming gradually to completely eradicate the epidemic. Let me tell you something, there are many others. If you will see, my country’s economy will take such an attack as of July, they will be jealous. Things will leap and grow so that the Germany, France, England, Italy, and especially the meddling USA around us will crack and explode.”
“You have defeated those who do not want my country to grow and become rich with a 50 gram ballot”
Emphasizing that Turkey has a strong leader who knows the world, country and nation for 19 years, Soylu continued as follows:
“They have brought a lot of troubles and troubles to this country. In order to devalue the vote you will cast tomorrow, you will be asked, ‘Who are you to rule this country?’. Praise God to those who say, ‘You are the people, you are not what we want, we don’t like you’, you teach with a 50 gram ballot paper. You defeated the 1971 memorandum and the 1980 coup with it. You defeated those who messed with our faith, clothes and identity on February 28. You stood tall in the AK Party closure case. They were scared, frightened, cowed, could not take a step. Your 50-gram ballot paper was defeated. They were supposed to be environmentalists, the Gezi events You have defeated those who do not want Turkey to start and face more costs while Turkey’s interest rate is 4.5, so that the people of this country do not find peace, do not grow and get richer, do not want Turkey to be a great and strong, my country to grow and prosper, with a 50 gram ballot.”
“THE NUMBER OF TERRORISTS, WHICH WAS APPROXIMATELY 15-20 THOUSAND IN TURKEY, HAS DROPPED TO 250”
Drawing attention to the success in the fight against terrorism in the country, Soylu said:
“On the way here, the Gendarmerie General Commander called, 3 more terrorists left in Van Başkale. We will produce, our children will study, they will have jobs. There will be tourists all over our country. People will plow their lands. Everything will happen. They will also scare and threaten mothers’ children. They will take them to the mountain. They took the 9-year-old hafiz children from their mothers and brought them to the mountain. If we don’t hold them accountable, our necks will be bowed down in this world and the next. How did the mothers of Diyarbakir make the HDP surrender. They don’t know what the hearts of mothers are. Around 15-20 thousand in Turkey The number of terrorists, who are terrorists, has dropped to 250. It will decrease even more. 5 thousand 500 people were joining the terrorist organization in 1 year. Now 6 months have passed, 4 of them from abroad. We will reset it all together. All parts of our beautiful Turkey are at peace. ”
Stating that significant achievements have been achieved with stability, strong leadership and understanding of government, Soylu said, “Now we are in Hakurk, Asiyan, Metina and Zap in northern Iraq. We do not give up on terrorism with our crescent and star flag.” he said.
“RIGHT NOW THERE ARE 88 THOUSAND PEOPLE FROM DRUGS”
Stating that they are also fighting against drugs strongly, Soylu reminded that they achieved the biggest seizures in the history of the Republic.
Underlining that they will not allow them to poison children and that they will not give up in the fight against drugs, Soylu said, “There are 88 thousand people in prison right now. We are fighting a big fight. We take 3,500-4 thousand people into custody every week. A significant part of the insiders are dealers. “We’re pushing it off the market. But someone is offended.” used his statements.