A clandestine operation allegedly funded by Qatar and executed by a former CIA agent's firm has come under the spotlight, highlighting a complex web of espionage and political manipulation.
This covert endeavor involved surveillance of Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, among others, and was orchestrated by Global Risk Advisors (GRA), led by ex-CIA agent Kevin Chalker.
The operation, dubbed "Project Endgame," aimed to discredit U.S. politicians critical of Qatar's ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The plan, emerging in 2017 and continuing until 2020, was expansive and well-funded. Qatar reportedly signed a $60 million deal with GRA for a three-year operation. GRA's primary objective under "Project Endgame" was to thwart legislation in the U.S. that was unfavorable to Qatar, particularly targeting those who challenged the nation's connections to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Senator Ted Cruz, known for his bill proposing the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, was specifically named in the GRA plan. The document explicitly stated that "an attack on Hamas is an attack on Qatar," underscoring the perceived symbiosis between Qatar and these groups.
Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, both vocal critics of Qatar's affiliations, were also allegedly targeted in this operation. Diaz-Balart, in particular, sponsored a bill sanctioning the Muslim Brotherhood.
The operation didn't stop at surveillance and political maneuvering. It also reportedly involved attempts to discredit organizations like the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), which has been critical of Qatar's connections to Hamas. The CEP has accused Qatar of hacking and paying Americans to silence criticism against it and its affiliations.
Media strategies were also a component of GRA's operations, allegedly utilizing Qatari media assets such as The New York Times, Middle East Eye, and The Intercept. This aspect of the plan highlights the potential breadth and depth of the operation, extending into the realm of media influence.
The FBI is actively investigating GRA and Chalker for their role in this alleged espionage on behalf of Qatar. While no indictments have been filed yet, the investigation adds a layer of gravity to the allegations and underscores the potential implications of such operations on U.S. politics.
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart expressed his views on the matter, stating:
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 is not the first time a regime has targeted my office using covert tactics, and it will not dissuade my resolve to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Rep. Jack Bergman said:
As a member of Congress, I will continue to use my office to hold Qatar accountable. Qatar must be exposed and their years-long hacking campaign to silence critics not just of Qatar but also critics of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas cannot go unchecked.
The timeline of events traces back to March 2017 when "Project Endgame" was initiated, targeting key U.S. figures. By April of the same year, the deal between Qatar and GRA was in place, marking the start of a covert operation that would span several years.
From 2017 to 2020, GRA allegedly carried out its spying and influence operations, focusing on those in the U.S. political sphere who opposed Qatar's ties to controversial groups. The operation's endgame was not just surveillance but a calculated effort to shape U.S. policy and perception in favor of Qatar.
This story's unfolding in the media, particularly through reports by The Associated Press in 2022 and the ongoing FBI investigation, sheds light on the intricate and often unseen ways foreign governments might seek to influence U.S. politics.
A covert operation, allegedly funded by Qatar and executed by Global Risk Advisors (GRA) led by former CIA agent Kevin Chalker, aimed to influence U.S. politics by discrediting politicians critical of Qatar's ties to groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Named "Project Endgame," this operation ran from 2017 to 2020 and was reportedly worth $60 million. It targeted U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, all known for their opposition to Qatar's affiliations. The operation involved surveillance attempts to discredit the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and the use of media strategies, with the alleged involvement of Qatari media assets.
The FBI is investigating these activities, highlighting the complex and potentially covert ways foreign governments may attempt to manipulate U.S. politics and policy.