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Tactics of Israeli Psy-Group, Black Cube Revealed in Canadian Court Battle

Psy Group's Israeli offices. PHOTO: CTech/Orel Cohen

Toronto-based investment firm West Face alleges a rival hired both companies to help sway a business dispute

By Tomer Ganon and Orr Hirschauge | 3 June 2018

CTECH — Two Israeli intelligence gathering firms, Psy-Group and Black Cube, have been at the center of several exposes in recent months. The former pitched a social media manipulation campaign to the Trump campaign in 2016, according to the New York Times. The latter sent its employees to secretly find damaging information on two former Obama White House aides involved in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, the New Yorker magazine reported. Now, both firms are being sued in Canada in an unrelated case that sheds lights on the firms’ cloak and dagger tactics.

A Toronto-based investment firm, West Face Capital Inc., alleges that a rival company called Catalyst Capital Group Inc. directly or indirectly hired the Israeli companies, both of whom have boasted of their ties to state intelligence agencies, to help sway a business dispute over a 2014 bid for a telecommunications company. The connection was allegedly made through Yossi Tanuri, the director of the Jewish Federations of Canada, who states on his organizational bio page that he was a “commander in an elite unit in the Israeli Defense Forces.”

West Face accuses Catalyst and its hired spies and social media experts of defaming the company using shady methods such as sting operations and online disinformation campaigns, according to court documents submitted in December 2017 and May 2018 to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. West Face is seeking damages of $550 million with interest, plus the expenses incurred in the legal battle. […]

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