January 15, 2017
A report by Al Arabiya has revealed the secrets of the Iranian electronic army and its intelligence and cyber activities against states and institutions.
It also examines the details behind the murder of Mohammad Hussein Tajik, its former commander.
Tajik was sacked from his post, detained and tortured over accusations of spying and leaking information to the opposition Green Movement inside Iran, according to sources confirmed by Al Arabiya.
One of those sources is journalist and reformist activist Roohollah Zam. According to him, Tajik was one of his most important sources.
Zam is close to the Green Movement and currently resides in France.
Iran’s Ed Snowden?
During an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya, Zam said he did not believe the leaking of information was the main reason behind the murder, adding that if Tajik had left Iran and decided to work against the regime, he would have become “Iran’s Snowden”.
But Iran’s security apparatus would have never allowed someone with as much insider information as Tajik to ever leave the country, according to Zam.
Tajik had said on multiple occasions that that he did not intend to leave Iran before his trial was over.
Inner workings of Iran’s cyber attacks
Zam said that the Khaybar center for information technology was established in 2011, adding that its units carried out several operations against the United States such as attacking a dam, a number of banks and power stations.
He noted that as a result of those activities, four Iranian hackers were sanctioned.
The Khaybar center also hacked Saudi banks, the Saudi kingdom’s statistics center, caused a 12-hour power cut in Turkey and attacked a number of Israeli institutions and satellites, Zam said.
Tajik’s father, also named Mohammed and known by his nickname Hajj Vali, is one of the old members of the Iranian intelligence ministry, Zam said, adding that he was one of the first to take over the Savak in 1979 following the revolution.
During the 1980s, Hajj Vali and some of his comrades traveled to an Arab country and built a secret network that works for the Iranian intelligence, Zam added.
That network included three extremist figures who graduated from universities in Cairo and Pakistan.