Israel: Telegram account leaks personal details of Mossad chief

An anonymous Telegram channel published a video on Wednesday that included personal photos and documents seemingly belonging to Mossad chief David Barnea.

The video published on the “Open Hands” channel — which was created on Tuesday — alleged the information it had obtained was from a lengthy intelligence operation conducted against Barnea, which began in 2014.

“We’ve got a small gift for the Mossad; ‘With LOVE for David’. Happy Purim,” a post on the channel read, referring to the Jewish holiday that begins Wednesday night.

The video — with translations in English, Hebrew, and Arabic — showed several personal photos, flight tickets under Barnea’s name, his ID card, tax documents addressed to his wife, and satellite imagery of what it claimed to be his private home in the central city of Hod Hasharon.

A clip of Barnea making silly faces, apparently during a private video chat, is also seen in the video.

The video claimed the material came as a result of a surveillance operation against Barnea that began in 2014.

“We’ve got a small gift for the Mossad; ‘With LOVE for David’. Happy Purim,” wrote the Telegram page, referring to the Jewish religious holiday that started on Wednesday.

Another post shared an extract from the Quran in Arabic: “And the Jews say, ‘The hand of Allah is chained.’ Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended.”

In a statement quoted by the Times of Israel, the prime minister’s office said the “materials in question are old”, without elaborating further.

Israeli media suggested the information may have been obtained through an Iranian hack. Iran and Israel have been engaged in cyberwarfare for years.

Israel’s cyber protection agency declared a state of emergency on Monday after government websites went down in an apparent online attack.

The websites of the interior, health, justice, and welfare ministries and the prime minister’s office were taken offline, the National Cyber Directorate said on Twitter.


Sources: Middle East Eye, Times of Israel

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