Exclusive: Jeffrey Epstein’s investment in an Israeli start-up reveals a myriad of links to Donald Trump and Israeli spies.
It’s been thirty-two years since the “Pollard Affair” pierced the seemingly impenetrable facade of U.S.-Israeli relations. Now, two suspected Israeli agents are in jail – indicted on separate charges of sex trafficking of minors.
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on July 6 and charged with trafficking minors across state lines. George Nader – a key witness for Robert Mueller – was arrested last month for possession of child porn and transporting a minor for sex from Europe.
Epstein and Nader share a personal network that includes Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Erik Prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his UAE counterpart, Mohamed Bin Zayed.
But their association goes further than powerful friends and proclivities for teenage boys and girls. Epstein and Nader are believed to be agents for Israeli Intelligence. Narativ has independently confirmed with two separate sources who were in a position to know that Epstein worked for Israeli military intelligence.
Both men also have ties to a burgeoning Israeli tech sector which is bringing Mossad-style military intelligence to the private sector and endangering the global balance of power.
The Haaretz newspaper has previously reported that Epstein, who was Donald Trump’s friend through the ’80s and ’90s, partnered in an Israeli start-up alongside former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Barak is seeking to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister in the upcoming re-run elections scheduled for September. Since 2015, he has been the front-man for Carbyne, an Israeli start-up which purports to be a high-tech solution for 911 emergency call centers, but the platform’s architecture and investors raise serious privacy concerns.
Narativ undertook an extensive investigation into Carbyne, and can now reveal a myriad of troubling connections between the start-up and people connected to Donald Trump.
The Michael Cohen Connection
In addition to Epstein and Barak, Russian oligarchs Viktor Vekselberg and Andrew Intrater bought 24% of Carbyne’s Class A-1 shares through Intrater’s Columbus Nova Technology Partners (CNTP) in September 2017. Vekselberg and Intrater are under U.S. sanctions because of Russia’s malign activities. Ukrainian-born Vekselberg is close to Vladimir Putin and was interviewed by prosecutors from Robert Mueller’s office.
While still employed as Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen consulted for Columbus Nova until August 2017 under a $1 million agreement to his company, “Essential Consulting.” Cohen used the same company to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels, who had an affair with Trump.
Between election day and July 14, 2017, Intrater and Cohen exchanged 230 phone calls and 950 text messages.
Carbyne is a plug-in for 911 call centers and an app for consumers. It provides unprecedented access to a caller’s camera and GPS, providing the dispatcher with a live video feed.
The system also automatically cross-references your identity with criminal or other records added to the database. At least two U.S. counties have implemented Carbyne, with many others considering it.
Epstein is a sex offender and known pedophile. He was brought in as an investor by Barak, his close friend of 17 years. Epstein invested $1.5 million in a company (SUM) with Barak in 2014. All of that money went into Carbyne in 2015. Barak has since been a front-man for the company appearing on Fox News to pitch the product. Barak has life-long ties to Israel’s spy services.
CEO Amir Elichai served in Israel’s elite military intelligence group. Pinchas Berkus, a former Brigadier of the elite 8200 unit, is a company director. Lital Leshem, a co-founder, still serves as a reservist in the Israeli Defence Force. Alex Dizengof, the CTO, worked in cybersecurity for Israel’s Prime Minister’s office.
The American Connection
Carbyne also has deep roots in the Military-Industrial complex of the U.S.
Michael Chertoff, who ran Homeland Security under George Bush, serves on Carbyne’s advisory board. Chertoff wrote the Patriot Act, which authorized digital surveillance of Americans.
Peter Thiel, who founded Facebook and Palantir, is also a Carbyne investor. Thiel is an outspoken supporter of Trump and invests heavily in companies with military and intelligence applications. According to Bloomberg, Thiel’s Palantir uses “war on terror tools to track American citizens.”
Trae Stephens, another Palantir alum, serves on Carbyne’s advisory board. Stephens was also chair of Trump’s Department of Defense transition team. Eliot Tawil, a real-estate developer and a major Trump donor also advises the company despite having no background this space.
None of the members of the board of directors or the advisory board appear to have any experience in emergency response. Almost all have ties to Israel and the U.S. military-industrial complex.
The China Connection
Carbyne has ties to China through Co-founder Lital Leshem. Leshem, who remains a shareholder at Carbyne, now works alongside Erik Prince at Frontier Resources Group (FRG). FRG is based in the UAE and is a subsidiary of Prince’s Frontier Services Group (FSG).
Prince sold a majority stake in FSG to the Chinese in 2013. His boss is now Chang Xhenming, who is very close to President Xi Jinping. Chang is also chair of China’s massive Citic Group.
Prince is a former U.S. Navy Seal and a founder of Blackwater, a mercenary contractor. FSG is one of the companies helping to build “re-training” camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim communities in China’s Xinjiang province. China detains 1 million people in those camps and keeps 13 million people under surveillance.
In May, Human Rights Watch revealed Chinese authorities use a platform not unlike Carbyne to illegally surveil Uyghurs. China’s Integrated Joint Operations Platform brings in a much bigger data-set and sources of video, which includes an app on people’s phones. Like Carbyne, the platform was designed to report emergencies. Chinese authorities have turned it into a tool of mass surveillance.
Human Rights Watch reverse-engineered the app. The group discovered the app automatically profiles a user under 36 “person types” including “followers of Six Lines” which is the term used to identify Uyghurs. Another term refers to “Hajj,” the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
The app monitors every aspect of a user’s life, including personal conversations, power usage, and tracks a user’s movement. “Did the family say something religious? Did they exit through the front door or the back door? (Going through the back door is presumably more suspicious),” Human Rights Watch says.
Nader, Israeli Intelligence and Trump
U.S. authorities are currently holding George Nader on child porn and trafficking charges. Nader is a representative for the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and his UAE counterpart Mohamed bin Zayed.
Nader is also speculated to have ties with Israeli Intelligence. His relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu dates back to the Israeli Prime Minister’s first days in office. Nader’s work for U.S. allies could explain why he’s been able to travel freely in and out of the U.S. despite a previous child pornography arrest.
In August 2016, Nader and Erik Prince attended a meeting at Donald Trump Jr.’s office in Trump Tower in August 2016. Nader brought with him Joel Zamel, who served in Israeli Military Intelligence and is the young CEO of another Israeli start-up, Psy Group.
Zamel proposed an extensive social amplification campaign to support Trump’s 2016 campaign, and Nader is reported to have pledged the Saudis and the UAE would foot the bill. Nader would later give Zamel $2m for those services, although Zamel disputes that claim.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated Zamel’s Psy Group for its involvement with the Trump campaign, which lasted a full year from early 2016 to January 2017.
In January 2017, Nader and Prince also took part in a meeting in Seychelles. The backchannel get-together discussed bringing Russia closer to the incoming Trump administration as part of an anti-Iran alliance with Israel, KSA and UAE. Erik Prince represented the Trump administration. Kiril Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, represented Putin.
“I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” Alex Acosta, former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta to Trump Administration.
George Nader’s and Jeffrey Epstein’s arrests, after decades of authorities turning a blind eye to the exploitation of teenagers, suggests a shift in U.S. policy towards Israeli Intelligence. Nader and Epstein were considered untouchable until recently, possibly because of their Israeli Intelligence ties and various cooperation agreements.
There has been extensive reporting on Epstein’s charges and sentencing around the underage girls. But Epstein also entered into a cooperation agreement for his financial crimes. Of note, Epstein cooperated with prosecutors to avoid charges for his involvement in a $450 million Ponzi scheme, which he blamed entirely on co-conspirator Steven Hoffenberg amid allegations of bribery.
All told, Epstein spent only 13 months in jail for what appears to be a 38-year crime-spree. How did Epstein evade justice? The answer may lie in a gentlemen’s agreement that governs the Israel-US intelligence relationship. Basically, spies can operate with impunity, even when committing criminal acts.
Mossad For Hire
Israeli spies are renowned the world for their ability to run complex stealth operations which go undetected. As one former KGB spy told me: “A good secret service never leaves any tracks.” Now, that very skillset has entered the private sector, merged with big data operations, and is being commercialized.
Since 2009, Israel’s spy-tech sector has been booming, supported by the easy flow of capital ferried into Israel by Russian oligarchs. This includes start-ups like NSO, which makes the Pegasus spyware capable of hacking any phone; Black Cube a high tech private fixer; and Zamel’s Psy Group, a social media manipulation company.
These start-ups have influenced elections and politics around the world, including the 2016 U.S. election. Cambridge Analytica used Black Cube to set up honey traps. Harvey Weinstein hired Black Cube to discredit many of his accusers, and the company also tried to frame former Obama Administration figures.
Saudi Arabia uses NSO’s Pegasus hacking software to track dissidents. There is some reporting that Pegasus was used in the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Israel has been exporting these services to despots and authoritarians around the globe. The high tech spy companies packed their advisory boards with former generals, heads of Mossad and politicians, creating a thin veneer of respectability.
Beneath the surface, questionable ethics, surveillance concerns, and dubious sources of funding have turned Israel’s spy-tech sector into a real threat to global security and balance of power.
According to Newsweek, the U.S. has identified Israeli espionage as a significant and growing threat in the U.S. going back to 2013. One former congressional staffer familiar with the classified material told Newsweek the situation was “terrifying”.
Israel’s spy-tech sector is funded by sanctioned Russian oligarchs and involved with dangerous criminals like Jeffrey Epstein and George Nader. Their services enable authoritarians and represent a serious risk to U.S.-Israeli relations. The sector requires serious investigation. Our very freedoms may depend on it.
Thanks to @LincolnsBible for your invaluable help with this article.