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Detained in Dubai talks to Times of Israel on shady Israeli intel

Time of Israel Investigates:

"Impersonation nation? Israeli intel firms’ shady methods spotlighted in UAE flap"

A report last week accusing a private Israeli intelligence firm of impersonating journalists in order to elicit information from opponents of an Emirati royal family shines a spotlight on Israeli cyber intelligence firms that reportedly do business in authoritarian regimes.

A Times of Israel investigation has revealed that the owner of the firm in question, Bluehawk CI, has a history of prior fraud prosecutions in Israel. The Defense Ministry chose not to respond to a Times of Israel’s inquiry as to why it had not regulated the firm’s activities abroad.

According to the April 6 report in The Daily Beast, in early 2020 individuals pretending to be a Fox News researcher and a reporter for Italy’s La Stampa newspaper approached two individuals who have fallen afoul of the leadership of Ras Al Khaimah, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the Daily Beast, the journalist impersonators tried to trick the two men into divulging information about their legal disputes with the emirate.