Qatargate: What if the real abuse was the prosecutor’s investigation?

The geopolitics of the Arab world, especially the Arabian Peninsula, is highly complex, characterized by intricate webs of interests, intersecting conflicts, and driven by the limitless ambitions of petro-monarchies seeking to expand their sphere of influence.

A recent astonishing scenario has emerged—a media assassination manoeuvre originating from the Gulf and reaching European institutions and prosecutors, potentially giving rise to the infamous Qatargate investigation. European news outlets associated with the Eic journalistic consortium, including Belgian Le Soir, Domani, and the French investigative website Mediapart, have exposed the contours of a sinister mass defamation operation.

The origin of this plot can be traced to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their intense rivalry with neighbouring Qatar. While the two countries restored diplomatic relations on June 19, reopening their embassies after seven years of strained ties, mutual distrust, secret manoeuvres, and a desire to disrupt and hinder each other persist. At the time, Abu Dhabi’s intelligence operatives aimed to strike at the heart of Doha, hampering its rise and influence in Europe.

To achieve this, they enlisted the services of a Swiss private intelligence company called Alp Service, led by Mario Brero, an Italian-Swiss individual described as an “expert in confidential relations.” Brero’s activities, including hacking and a network of contacts spanning Africa, the Balkans, Western Europe, Central Asia, and Russia, have been involved in numerous questionable endeavours. Their latest project was compiling a list of pro-Qatar lobbyists, both real and imaginary, costing approximately six million euros.

One notable dossier attributed to Brero’s team is “Abu Dhabi Secrets,” which supposedly lists 160 individuals and 80 organizations accused of supporting the Egyptian Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE and Saudi Arabia accused Qatar, historically linked to the Brotherhood, of propagating Islamist propaganda through the prominent Al Jazeera network.

However, investigations by the Eic Consortium revealed that individuals were often included randomly, lacking any logical connection or remote link to Doha or Islamist militants. It was a ruthless and crude collective slander operation, reflecting Brero’s own dubious background. The list contained journalists, imams, university professors, and prominent political figures like Belgian Minister of Environment Zakia Khattabi, who was falsely indicated as Vice President of the Executive of Muslims in Belgium, a position she never held.

Khattabi expressed her dismay, labelling the news as completely baseless and disturbing. Her participation in the upcoming COP 28 conference on climate change, hosted by the UAE—the main culprits behind this media assassination—raises questions about her mindset. The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Abu Dhabi Ambassador to Brussels for clarification.

Surprisingly, the three primary individuals accused in the Qatargate scandal—Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella, former Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, and former trade unionist and lobbyist Antonio Panzeri—also appear on Brero’s list. This raises spontaneous questions about the alignment between the conclusions of the Brussels prosecutor’s office, investigating magistrate Michel Claise, Alp Service, Emirati intelligence, and Brussels’ secret services. It appears as though the 007 operatives orchestrated a fantasy narrative for Prosecutor Claise, confident that he would carry out their agenda. Consequently, the ultimate crime of the Qatargate may not be the Qatargate itself.

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