Abdellatif Hammouchi: Morocco's spy chief at the heart of the Pegasus affair

The Pegasus scandal has helped throw a spotlight on the repressive regime in Morocco, which is accused of using the Israeli-made spyware to target the phones of thousands of people, including politicians and journalists in France. In particular it has focused attention on the North African kingdom's top cop and spy chief Abdellatif Hammouchi and his role in the affair. As Mediapart reports, this key figure in the Moroccan state apparatus is feared in many Western capitals, including Paris.

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The revelations about the Pegasus spyware, which has been used by some governments to spy on the phones of their citizens, including journalists, have focused close attention on the nature of the regime in Morocco. In particular the biggest spy scandal since the 2013 Snowden affair has shone a spotlight on the role of one man who has developed an obsession with discretion and secrecy and who is feared by many governments in the West, including in France. That man is Abdellatif Hammouchi, the head of the Moroccan police and also boss of the country's intelligence services.