In a shocking scandal that adds to the series of Abu Dhabi scandals, it has been revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established a network of influence in France and Europe, working to mislead campaigns against its opponents, particularly Qatar. The investigation, based on leaked data and testimonies, uncovers the complex web of Emirati influence, including misleading information, hacking, and intelligence operations.
Influence on French Legislation and Financial Assets
According to Mediapart, the UAE utilized its network of influence in France to shape discussions on laws combating radicalism, serving its interests against political Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Additionally, the Emirati network collected information on the financial assets of French politicians. The investigation further reveals that the Emirati network was behind the publication of the book “Qatar Papers,” which falsely accused Qatar of financing Islamic associations in Europe, exacerbating the Qatar-Gulf crisis.
The Role of Abu Dhabi’s Spies
Mediapart’s extensive investigation unveils the intricate network of Emirati influence in Europe, particularly France, which extends to misleading online information and hacking. This shadow war between the Gulf neighbors reached its peak from 2017 to 2021 during the Qatar-Gulf crisis. The investigation sheds light on Operation Raven, established by the UAE to penetrate Qatari networks with the assistance of former US hackers.
The Involvement of ALP Services and Mario Brero
ALP Services, a Swiss-based economic intelligence firm founded by Mario Brero, played a significant role in Emirati operations. Brero, known for controversial intelligence methods, has a history of illegal activities. The investigation reveals how ALP Services and Brero collaborated with Emirati intelligence, conducting special operations and publishing misleading information on the internet targeting individuals and entities deemed as UAE opponents.
Emirati Operations and Misinformation Campaigns
The Emirati network orchestrated extensive investigations into Qatari influence networks, lobbyists, influencers, and journalists in the European Union. Avisa Partners and lobbyist Sihem Souid provided evidence of the Emirati secret agent’s involvement. ALP Services aimed to publish or influence numerous articles annually on behalf of the UAE, using fake accounts such as “Tanya Klein.” The investigation highlights the publication of false accusations against a member of the Qatari royal family and the targeting of individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
ALP Services’ Role in Investigating the Muslim Brotherhood
ALP Services conducted investigations into the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, focusing on France, Belgium, and Norway. The Swiss agents compiled reports on personalities and organizations affiliated with or close to the Muslim Brotherhood. The investigation also mentions the recent scandal involving corruption allegations against European deputies favoring Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which prompted an internal investigation by the European Parliament.
The Network of Influential Figures
To carry out their mission, ALP Services enlisted the services of researchers such as Dr. Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on political Islam. Additionally, the investigation highlights the role of French security expert Roland Jacquard, who facilitated the connection between ALP Services and Emirati clients. Jacquard, known for his expertise on Islamic extremism, has extensive connections in political, military, and diplomatic circles.
The uncovering of ALP Services’ involvement in the UAE’s network of influence, along with the revelations of Emirati operations in France and Europe, expose the extent of misinformation campaigns and covert actions against opponents. The investigation sheds light on the dangerous consequences of such activities, including the spread of false information, hacking, and surveillance. Ensuring accountability and transparency in such operations is crucial to safeguarding democratic principles, protecting individuals from unwarranted targeting, and preserving the integrity of political processes.