Qatar accused of hiring hackers to discredit US critics

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Elliott Broidy, a supporter of the Republican party and a prominent activist, who is known for his critical views of the Qatari regime’s support for terrorism.
Elliott Broidy, a supporter of the Republican party and a prominent activist, who is known for his critical views of the Qatari regime’s support for terrorism.



Saudi Gazette report

WASHINGTON — Qatar had hired hackers based in the United States to carry out a cyber espionage operation in 2018 on a prominent Republican financier, Washington Free Beacon, a US-based news website reported citing a new lawsuit.

The hackers were affiliated with the Global Risk Advisors (GRA), which is composed of former CIA and other military intelligence officials with extensive experience in the cyber espionage realm.

In his lawsuit, Elliott Broidy, a supporter of the Republican party and a prominent activist, who is known for his critical views of the Qatari regime’s support for terrorism, alleges that the hackers hired by Doha hacked into his personal and business email servers. That information, Broidy alleges, was later leaked to the media in order to discredit the longtime GOP activist and advance Qatar’s interests in America.

The hackers with GRA "conspired with (American) public-relations strategists to steal Broidy’s confidential materials and plant carefully curated excerpts and manipulated materials with the press to cause Plaintiffs maximum damage," Washington Free Beacon said quoting the lawsuit.

"GRA was perfectly suited for this work because it employs former National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, and US Armed Forces personnel with extensive offensive hacking expertise."

The new lawsuit is part of a long-running legal dispute between Broidy and Qatar, which is accused of orchestrating multiple hack attacks on its most prominent US and European critics.

According to the US news website, Qatar is also believed to be behind a series of similar cyberattacks on prominent Republican and Jewish community activists who have pressured the Trump administration to cut ties with Doha.

Broidy previously sued several US public-relations companies he accuses of helping Qatar distribute his stolen information, the website claims.

Qatar has long been suspected of financing the hack on Broidy and other leading critics of Doha’s terror financing network, which includes support for Hamas and other Iranian-backed militia groups.

In addition to targeting perceived critics, Qatar allegedly spied on prominent Jewish community members in Washington, D.C., to collect information about their anti-Doha lobbying efforts. Congress is investigating the country over these claims, according to the Republican-leaning website report.


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