Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s telephone is on an inventory of numbers of individuals recognized as potential Pegasus spy ware targets by Morocco’s intelligence providers, French radio reported on Tuesday.
Radio France made the declare two days after it and a number of other different information retailers, together with The Washington Post and The Guardian, reported that the Israeli software program had been utilized by governments to spy on activists, journalists, attorneys and politicians all over the world.
The bombshell claims have been based mostly on a leaked doc containing 50,000 numbers of individuals recognized as potential targets for Pegasus between 2016 and June 2021.
The listing was dominated by numbers from 10 nations — Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Morocco on Monday denied the allegations, saying it had “never acquired computer software to infiltrate communication devices”.
On Tuesday, Radio France claimed the nation’s monarch was on the listing in addition to “a large number” of Moroccan royals.
It mentioned they included the king’s spouse Lalla Salma Bennani, his cousin Prince Moulay Hicham Alaoui, nicknamed the “red prince” for his progressive views, a former son-in-law of the late King Hassan II, entrepreneur Fouad Filali, and Hassan II’s former bodyguard, Mohamed Mediouri, who’s the present king’s stepfather.
“But what is most surprising, when you look closely at this list, is that the sovereign himself is among those whose numbers were selected as potential Pegasus targets,” the report mentioned.
Radio France mentioned it and its companions within the Forbidden Stories media consortium had established “that one of the telephone numbers that figures on the listing of the Moroccan intelligence services is indeed that of Mohammed VI.”
It added that “his entire entourage suffered the same fate”, together with the king’s chamberlain, Sidi Mohammed Alaoui, his private secretary and three members of the latter’s household.
It mentioned that the listing additionally included the variety of the pinnacle of Morocco’s royal gendarmerie in addition to the king’s former high bodyguard, Hassan Charrat.
It was not attainable to instantly confirm the claims.
Pegasus is a extremely invasive device that may change on a goal’s telephone digital camera and microphone, in addition to entry information on the machine, successfully turning a telephone right into a pocket spy. In some circumstances, it may be put in with out the necessity to trick a person into initiating a obtain.
NSO has denied promoting the software program to authoritarian governments for the needs of spying on dissenters, labelling the allegations “false.”
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