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'Project Raven' – The Origin Of The Qatari Government Letters Leak


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MEMRI

Yigal Carmon

December 22, 2023

Qatar, Palestinian Authority | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1734

Introduction:

In January 2019, Reuters uncovered information about Project Raven, a wide-ranging cyber offensive operation carried out by former NSA agents on behalf of the UAE. They gathered huge amounts of documents concerning several targets, including activists, journalists, and foreign government entities in a few countries, such as Turkey, France, Yemen, Iran, Qatar, Lebanon, and Israel. The leaked documents revealed extensive political interference by Qatar in the affairs in the Arab and Muslim world, with the goal of toppling secular regimes (as in Libya and Mali),[1] as well as strengthening Islamist terrorist organizations and movements. The documents also reveal the interference of Qatar in the affairs of other countries, such as France, South Africa, Lebanon, and Israel, by means of significant grants to government elements, political activists, human rights organizations, and sports figures.

Among other things, it uncovered the extent of the Qatari system of payments to politicians and influential public figures from different countries. Among the many figures revealed in these documents were some about whom documents were leaked to media. These were: Nicolas Sarkozy,[2] Carla Bruni, Thabo Mbeki, Human Rights Watch, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Walid Jumblatt, Michel Francois Platini, Lamine Diack, and Islamist militias in northern Mali,[3] as well as Israeli political figures.

 

International Media Exposure Of Project Raven:

Reports about Project Raven appeared in international media in American, British, French, German and Israeli newspapers.

(Snip)

Qatari Illegal Activities, The FIFA Trials, And "Qatargate":

A.FIFA Trials:

The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) trials, which began in 2017, focused on bribery of FIFA officials to support Qatar's hosting of the World Cup 2022 games. For details see the New York Times and The Guardian: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/sports/soccer/fifa-trial-notable-moments-from-first-4-days.html, https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/23/fifa-trial-questions-2022-qatar-world-cup

The FIFA trials are taking place in several countries (France, Switzerland). However, dozens of people have pleaded guilty or have been convicted after a U.S.-led investigation into FIFA. Already $201 million dollars have been repaid to victims. See U.S. Department of Justice statement: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-additional-distribution-approximately-92-million-victims-fifa

B."Qatargate":

In December 2022, the Belgian authorities launched an investigation into alleged Qatari bribes of members of the European Parliament that covered a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed the center of Europe's government in Brussels. The internet news website Politico reported in December 2023 that Qatar allegedly engaged in bribes "staving off attempts by some MEPs to censure Qatar for its treatment of migrant workers and journalists." Qatar, according to Politico, also bribed MEPs to criticize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the European parliament and secure a visa-free travel deal between Brussels and Doha, among other objectives. https://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-qatargate-corruption-scandal-leaked-documents-pier-antonio-panzeri-francesco-giorgi-eva-kaili/

In December 2022, the European parliament stripped the Greek MEP Eva Kaili of her position as vice president of the assembly over accusations she accepted bribes from Qatar. In the course of the investigation, the police found large amounts of dollars involved in the bribery scheme. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/european-parliament-lawmaker-denies-taking-bribes-qatar-lawyer-2022-12-13/


Note: For other leaked documents connected to the Qatari regime, see Appendix.

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The Raven Project Leaks: Qatar Reportedly Ordered Payment Of Six Million Euros To Wife Of French President Sarkozy In 2009
December 26, 2023

Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 11039

The following is a translation of a Qatari document in Arabic that was leaked as part of Project Raven.[1] The leaked document reportedly reveals that, in 2009, then-Qatari emir Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani ordered to pay a sum of six million euros to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the wife of then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The payment, according to the document, was made by the head of the head of Qatar's Accountant General's Office and the State Treasury via the office of Sheikha Moza, the wife of the then emir and the mother of the current one.

Ministry of Economy and Finance

The Minister's Office

Date: November 6, 2009

To: Mr. Ahmad Ali Boukshisha

Head of the Accountant General's Office and the State Treasury

Greetings,

In accordance with the honorable instructions of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani, the dear Emir of the State [of Qatar], in letter no. (DA. 209-816), please pay a sum of 6 million euros to Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozi from our account in Qatar National Bank, under the [budget] item of grant by the Emir, and deliver it urgently, in cash, to Dr. Abdullah Hussain Al-Kubaisi, Director General of the Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Misnad.

Respectfully,

Yousuf Hussein Kamal

Minister of Economy and Finance

(Snip)

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