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Israeli company influenced dozens of elections in Africa, investigation finds

Israeli company influenced dozens of elections in Africa, investigation finds

a clandestine company Israeli of electoral manipulation in social networks was used to influence dozens of elections in the world, especially in Africabut also in other cases in Mexico and Spainaccording to a group of investigative journalists.

The company, without legal existence, called “Team George” by journalists, following the pseudonym of one of those responsible, Such Hanan, It is made up of former members of the Israeli security services, according to information revealed on Wednesday by the Forbidden Stories collective.

Three journalists from the group posed as possible clients to collect information for several months about “Team Jorge”.

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The structure claims to have “intervened in 33 electoral campaigns at the presidential level”he told his fake clients, according to Radio France, where one of the undercover journalists works.

Of these 33 campaigns, another person in charge told them, “two-thirds of them (took place) in Anglophone and Francophone Africa, 27 were successful.”

In Mexico, the company would have intervened in favor of Thomas Zeron, a former Mexican official investigated for the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, says the Forbidden Stories website.

Zerón, head of the Criminal Investigation Agency from 2013 to 2016, is accused of kidnapping, torture and manipulation of evidence in the case of the disappearance of the young people from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero state).

Implicated in the acquisition of the Pegasus spy program by the Mexican authorities, Zerón is currently on the run in Israel, which rejects his extradition.

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And in Spain, “Team George” It would have influenced the referendum, not recognized by the Spanish government, organized by the Catalan separatists in 2014, according to the Radio France website.

For its activities, the company developed “for six years a digital platform”AIMS, which allowed him to create countless fake accounts on social networks and above all, activate and feed them, explains the group.

Since January 2023, the system exploited 39,213 false profiles, “consultable in a kind of catalogue”. in it there is “avatars of all ethnicities, nationalities, genders, single or coupled… Their faces are portraits of real people taken from the internet, and their patronymics, the combination of thousands of surnames and first names stored in a database”, according to Radio France.

Forbidden Stories (“Forbidden Stories”) is a network of investigative journalists created in 2017.

Source: AFP

Source: Gestion

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