Ali Amar was selected for surveillance with the Pegasus spyware from 2017 to 2019, along with another co-founder of Le Desk, Fatima Lqadiri. Forbidden Stories was unable to analyze the phones to confirm the infection. Another journalist from LeDesk, Omar Radi, was a victim of the Pegasus spyware in 2019, according to forensic analysis done by Amnesty International’s Security Lab.
Who is he?
Ali Amar is a Moroccan journalist, co-founder of the independent news website Le Desk.
In 1997, he founded, with Aboubakr Jamai and others, an independent weekly called Le Journal Hebdomadaire. The publication included articles on sensitive topics such as human rights or Western Sahara. For several years, the authorities financially burdened the newspaper and in 2010, the newspaper was shut down.
In 2014, he co-founded Le Desk, a news website that has collaborated with renowned publications worldwide such as Mediapart and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Amar has written several books about Moroccan authorities, including Mohammed VI, Le grand malentendu, about the security policy of the Moroccan King.
“It only takes not acting as a spokesperson for the regime to be in this situation [of being spied on]”, according to Ali Amar. “This project (Pegasus Project) will map out the regime’s obessions.”
"Omar Radi, espion du MI6 : révélations sur une cabale incensée" Le Desk (2020)Read
"Paradise Papers: les plans secrets de Glencore au Sahara" Le Desk (2017)Read
"'Barlamane' : enquête sur une machine à salir" Le Desk (2017)Read
Moroccan authorities said there was no proof of them being a client of NSO Group. NSO Group did not answer Forbidden Stories’ questions on specific targets but said it “will continue to investigate all credible claims of misuse and take appropriate action based on the results of these investigations.”