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Israeli intelligence launches start-up fund to invest in spying

Israeli settlements [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2017

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that Israel's national intelligence agency will begin a start-up fund to help invent new spying technology for Mossad.

Israel's national intelligence agency is launching an investment fund for start-ups developing "ground-breaking" technologies that could be used by the spy agency.

Mossad's fund - named Libertad - will invest in companies innovating "cutting-edge technology", such as robotics, energy harvesting, encryption, personality profiling and text analysis.

A promotional video published by the Mossad shows an agent employing a face-recognition contact lens to identify her targets.

Libertad's website says that it offers up to $568,000 "in equity-free capital for R&D of relevant, viable and ground-breaking projects".

Israel's prime minister's office says in a statement announcing the fund's creation that in exchange for funding start-ups Mossad will receive a license to use the technology developed.

Mossad will have no obstacles to the use of the technology and will not have to pay any royalties.

The Mossad is notorious for its controversial operations and governments across the Middle East have caught spy-rings conducting intelligence for Israel.

In January, Algerian security forces busted a suspected espionage network working for Israel.

Authorities said the individuals arrested were from various African countries, including Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Liberia.

Less than two weeks later, the Lebanese General Security, one of country's key security agencies, said in a statement that they had exposed a Mossad network.

Late last year, Tunisia reported that an aviation engineer specialised in drones was murdered in the city of Sfax by "foreigners".

Many claimed Mohammed Zaouari's death was the result of an assassination carried out by Israel's foreign intelligence agency Mossad due to the engineer's alleged ties with Palestinian movement Hamas.

Tunisian authorities said they were closely investigating the case and that the assassination could have been carried out by foreign agents.

In March, Hamas officials have blamed Israeli intelligence agency Mossad for the killing of senior Hamas official Mazen Faqha.

Sources close to Hamas' military wing al-Qassam Brigades told The New Arab at the time blamed Israel on the basis that Faqha's murder seemed to have had a similar intent to the assassination of Zaouari.

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