TUNIS (Middle East Eye) – Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of Tunisia’s parliament and head of the Ennahda party, was targeted by Saudi Arabia for surveillance using the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, Middle East Eye has revealed.
Ghannouchi is one of 50,000 numbers found on a list acquired by investigative NGO Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International that is believed to be made up of phones that the Zionist regime’s tech company’s clients have targeted since 2016.
Forbidden Stories told Ghannouchi his phone was on the list two weeks ago. It is his primary number, one of two he uses, and one he has used for 10 years. The number is not in the public domain.
The non-profit told MEE that Ghannouchi’s phone was selected for surveillance by someone in Saudi Arabia in 2019. It is not yet clear if the phone was infected with Pegasus.
The same NSO client has also targeted high-ranking officials in Turkey, the UAE and Lebanon, as well as several opponents of the Saudi monarchy, which suggests that it was a Saudi operator.
“I’m dismayed that a brotherly country would target the democratically elected speaker of a sovereign nation. This is utterly unacceptable and I call on our Tunisian security services to investigate the matter fully,” Ghannouchi told MEE.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Morocco are among those accused of targeting leaders, officials, journalists and activists with the powerful spyware.