Washington: A diplomatic confidant of Jared Kushner was hacked by former CIA agents working for Qatar as part of a years-long campaign of spying and blackmail, new court documents claim.
The former agents are accused of illegal computer hacking by Donald Trump’s one-time fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, who alleges Qatar paid $100 million to private consulting firm Global Risk Advisors (GRA). The company and its ex-spy founder Kevin Chalker used hackers with experience in the US Special Forces and intelligence branches to further the Gulf state’s foreign policy and even ‘intercepted sensitive and private information of US citizens,’ according to a federal lawsuit.
Broidy accuses Qatar of paying GRA for years to hack, surveil or silence:
– A top Middle Eastern diplomat who was reportedly ‘in constant contact’ with Kushner and close to other ‘high-ranking’ US offcials;
– American citizens who were outspoken critics of the Gulf nation;
– Soccer executives and investigators probing alleged bribery in Qatar’s World Cup hosting bid;
– At least 1,000 others around the world.
Broidy, the former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and a prominent backer of President Trump, sued Chalker and GRA last year for allegedly hacking his
emails and leaking them to the Press in 2018, claiming it was done because of his criticism of Qatar.
In his 112-page fling, obtained by the Daily Mail, Broidy described Chalker and his company as criminals willing to break laws and sell private information regardless of the implications for American interests for millions of dollars.
Qatar turned to GRA for support in hacking, surveillance, and using the resulting materials to
denigrate and silence those whom Doha viewed as potential threats.
Broidy’s lawsuit claims GRA was paid tens of millions of dollars for a hack that ultimately
gathered information on senior US offcials.
The court documents claimed GRA infiltrated the private communications of the powerful and
well-connected ambassador to the US for the UAE and leaked them to the media in 2017.
The documents added that the hack on Yousef Al Otaiba was ‘an effort to improve Qatar’s image with the US by not only discrediting him, but also intimidating (and ultimately silencing) US government officials and both critics and potential critics of Qatar.’