The world of international politics has been rocked by a recent revelation involving the Qatari ambassador to the U.S.
Leaked documents indicate Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani's involvement in espionage and bribery activities aimed at influencing Western politics.
These leaks implicate Qatar in activities that undermine both U.S. and European political landscapes. The source of this information is Project Raven, a surveillance program initially started by the UAE with U.S. collaboration. The program's objective shifted over time, evolving into illegal activities, including spying on dissidents and Western officials. Documents from this project have exposed Qatar's alleged illicit activities.
In 2016, a pivotal year for the project, the UAE coerced U.S. contractors into working for the UAE firm DarkMatter. Subsequently, they began hacking the phones of Qatari officials.
Documents show that Ambassador al-Thani authorized a payment of 160,000 euros to French Secretary Jean-Marie Le Guen in the same year. This payment is seen as a clear act of bribery for "future services."
Furthermore, these documents shed light on "Project ENDGAME," a 2017 initiative by Qatari intelligence. This project aimed to spy on and exert influence over U.S. lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, as well as Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ed Royce. The underlying goal was to counteract critics of Qatar's allies, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Project ENDGAME's documents describe an elaborate plan to target individuals viewed as adversaries, including former President Donald Trump. The documents labeled these lawmakers and the former president as "enemies" with plans to surveil and influence them through various campaigns.
The timeline of these events paints a complex picture. It started in the early 2010s with the inception of Project Raven as a joint U.S.-UAE effort against terrorism. By 2016, the UAE had shifted the project's focus to more controversial activities, including the alleged bribery of a French official and the hacking of Qatari officials' phones.
In response to the revelations about Project ENDGAME, one U.S. official stated, "The revelation that the Qatari government not only targeted my office but two sitting U.S. senators is not surprising and only validates my longstanding concerns with the Qatari government." This statement reflects the growing unease among U.S. lawmakers regarding Qatar's activities.
By 2017, Project ENDGAME was in full swing, targeting U.S. lawmakers. The exposure of Project Raven's UAE spying efforts came in 2019, followed by uncovering the Le Guen bribery case as part of "Qatargate" in late 2021. Finally, early 2023 saw the leaking of Project ENDGAME documents.
One of the leaked statements from Project ENDGAME’s documents stated, "Trump’s supporters can’t find Qatar on a map." This dismissive view towards the former president's supporters showcases the contempt held by those behind the espionage efforts.
Another quote from the documents reads, "An attack on Hamas is an attack on Qatar.” This illustrates the depth of Qatar's commitment to its allies, underscoring the potential motives behind their espionage activities.
The impact of these revelations has been widespread. A concerned official stated, "It is long past time for the U.S. to reevaluate the U.S.-Qatari relationship." This sentiment is echoed across various political spectrums, highlighting the need to reassess diplomatic ties in light of these allegations.
The Qatari ambassador to the U.S., Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, is implicated in espionage and bribery activities revealed by leaked documents from Project Raven, a surveillance program initiated by the UAE and the U.S.
In 2016, al-Thani allegedly authorized a payment of 160,000 euros to French Secretary Jean-Marie Le Guen as bribery. Project ENDGAME, a 2017 Qatari intelligence initiative, aimed to spy on and influence U.S. lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, and targeted former President Donald Trump.
The leaks have prompted concerns and calls for a reassessment of U.S.-Qatari relations. These revelations underscore Qatar's efforts to influence Western politics and support allies like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.