Another spy story: The butler of the Israeli defense minister “was a spy for Iran”
It seems a John Le Carrè spy story, but it’s all true. A servant from Benny Gantz reportedly communicated with the Iranian-linked Black Shadow hacker group to offer to spy on the Israeli Defense Minister. Omri Goren, a 37-year-old man from Lod, and his partner have been employed in the Gantz family for some years.
A servant of the Israeli defense minister, Benny Gantz, was accused of spying on behalf of Iran: the Shin Beth, the Israeli internal secret services, reported. 37-year-old Omri Goren Gorochovsky was arrested on November 4 and interrogated on charges of contacting through social networks with an “entity affiliated with Iran.” He allegedly promised his “assistance.”
According to the prosecution Gorochosvsky, using a false name would have contacted the hackers of the Black Shadow group on October 31, proposing information on Gantz’s residence, and in particular, the placement of a computer virus with a USB stick on the Minister’s PC, in exchange of a sum of money. In addition, according to Shin Beth, to prove his good faith, the man would have photographed some rooms and objects in Gantz’s house, but he would not have had access to confidential information.
For two years, the servant was directly employed by the Minister of Defense. The man – states the indictment – hoped to obtain adequate compensation but was blocked in time. Gantz was informed in advance of the imminent arrest. Goren’s defender has meanwhile denied that he ever planned to spy on Gantz. According to public radio Kan, the servant has several criminal convictions behind him (including a bank robbery) and served four years in prison. According to the broadcaster, it is still unclear how, with such a past, he was admitted to Gantz’s residence.
Meanwhile, just today, the Head of State, Isaac Herzog, phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to thank him for his “personal intervention” in today’s release of a couple of Israeli tourists, initially suspected of spying by the Turkish authorities. Erdogan “stressed the importance he attaches to relations with Israel, which in his opinion are of cardinal importance for peace, stability, and security in the Middle East.” With the return to Tel Aviv of the two tourists Mordechai and Natalie Oknin, Israel and Turkey overcame a story that risked weighing down diplomatic relations between the two countries.