'The United Arab Emirates purchased two surveillance jets from an Israeli billionaire to spy on Iran, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed this week.
The secret deal, signed almost 10 years ago, amounted to more than $800 million in total transactions.
Pictures of the aircraft undergoing testing over England were published online in 2017.
The deal was primarily signed between Emirati firm Advanced Integrated Systems (AIS) and Swiss firm AGT International, owned by Israeli billionaire Matanya “Mati” Kochavi.
Emirati leaders were also listed as involved in some of the deal’s transactions, including de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates.
AIS is headed by Abdulla Ahmed Al Balooshi, who the newspaper says is a “member of an Emirates family known to be involved in the country’s intelligence establishment.”
The planes are intended for the Emirates armed forces, however.
AIS signed a $700 million contract to supply aircraft for the Emirati military, Haaretz reported, and regularly provides its so-called security services to other governments as well as private entities.
The two executive jets were purchased in 2012 by Kochavi’s AGT from the Canadian firm Bombardier.
They were then sent to be refitted as spy planes by the British firm Marshall.
Details of the complex web of transactions to acquire the planes and transfer them to the Emirates was revealed in leaked emails and documents contained in the Paradise Papers trove.
One of the two aircraft began trial flights over the Gulf region in recent weeks, and both will be delivered to the Emirati armed forces soon. The second plane is still being completed and tested in Britain.
Once operational, the UAE will be able “to intercept communications and to identify, locate and map electronic systems operated by Iran in real time – including radar and aerial defense systems that protect its nuclear installations,” according to Haaretz.
The planes could also be used to spy on the UAE’s “frenemy” Saudi Arabia, the newspaper added.'
Read more: Secretive Israeli billionaire helps UAE acquire spy planes
Did you like this article?
Thank you for your vote!
15 hours ago
Netanyahu admits election results won't let him form government, calls on rival Gantz to unite
From our advertisers
16 September 2019
Elite-owned Facebook tells David Icke 'Your page is facing deletion' after publication of explosive 9/11 exposure - The Trigger (Please Circulate)
From our advertisers