A group of 20 Israelis, including several former Israeli defense industry officials, have been caught secretly building and testing loitering munitions for an unidentified Asian country.
The operation to uncover the suspect group, which had been ongoing since late 2019, was disclosed by the Israeli police and the country’s Shin Bet security agency on February 11.
The police said the group developed and tested the weapons before selling them to a customer in Asia. The authorities said there were fears that the technologies that were clandestinely exported could easily fall into the hands of “countries hostile to Israel.”
Israel police said the individuals received instructions from entities related to the Asian country, in exchange for funds and benefits.
While details regarding the investigation, including the identity of the customer country, are still scarce, Israeli news reports said the case could affect Israel’s foreign relations and “lead to a crisis between superpowers.”
The Israeli police on Thursday also released video footage showing one of the tests carried out by the group.