Among the 50,000 numbers targeted by the spyware of the Israeli company NSO Group, we find the telephone numbers of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, of the former Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri, of the former Minister of foreign affairs Gébran Bassil, the director of the General Security, General Abbas Ibrahim, the governor of the central bank Riad Salamé, Hezbollah executives, the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea and many ministers from various political parties, journalists and ambassadors present in Lebanon or even businessmen involved in investments in the Arabian Peninsula. Their phone numbers would have been included on the Watch list at the initiative of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, indicates the daily Le Monde and the Lebanese site Daraj.
Pegasus allows, in addition to downloading the contents of the phone, to spy on mobile applications such as WhatsApp or to listen to the victim through his microphone.
To note that the latter’s article in English is inaccessible at the time of this writing , but available in Arabic.
In total, 300 Lebanese numbers have thus been victims of this massive espionage at the request of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, countries with which relations have deteriorated for several years.
The president of parliament Nabih Berri and the former deputy Walid Joumblatt would have been excluded.
Saad Hariri is said to have been a victim of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, especially during his kidnapping during his stay in Riyadh in October 2017.
Still on the Current of the Future side, the former interior minister Nouhad Machnouk or Nader Hariri, adviser to Saad Hariri would also have been victims.
Other politicians spied on, the president of the free patriotic current Gebran Bassil or his political opponent, yet close to Saudi Arabia and currently supported by this state, Samir Geagea.
Finally, Riad Salamé would have been the subject of a request for surveillance while the Lebanese banks set up an informal capital control, in November 2019.