The QatarGate scandal, an international controversy with significant implications, can be traced back to the covert activities of ALP Services, a Swiss detective agency closely connected to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In this article, we will explore the secretive realm of covert operations, espionage, and counterespionage orchestrated by ALP Services on behalf of the UAE. Their objective was to tarnish Qatar’s reputation and undermine its influence within the European Union (EU).
ALP Services’ Involvement
As of October 2018, ALP Services had forged strong alliances with the United Arab Emirates, notably with Agent Matar and Sheikh Ali Saeed al-Neyadi, the esteemed national security adviser. This fruitful partnership resulted in highly profitable ventures, amassing a staggering sum of over 1 million euros. These ventures were strategically aimed at countering the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Constellation Plan: A Plot to Counter Qatar
In March 2019, ALP Services unveiled the Constellation – Stage 1 plan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), presenting a comprehensive strategy aimed at countering Qatar’s influence within the European Union (EU). This meticulously crafted plan encompassed the identification of approximately 70 potential targets, encompassing both individuals and entities, who were suspected of providing support to Qatar.
Targeting Qatari Lobbyists and European Politicians
Among the identified targets were three key individuals implicated in the Qatargate scandal: MEPs Marc Tarabella and Eva Kaili, who were associated with the EU-Qatar friendship group, and former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. ALP Services sought to uncover their purported connections to Qatar and exploit this information to tarnish their reputations.
Dark Side: ALP’s Unaware Involvement in QatarGate
Little did ALP Services know, they had inadvertently targeted individuals who would later emerge as key figures in the QatarGate scandal. Notably, former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri found himself entangled in a corruption pact with Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri, a prominent figure in the QatarGate affair.
ALP’s Campaign and Influence on Far-Right Deputies
In order to exert influence over EU policymakers, ALP Services strategically focused on far-right deputies and pro-Qatar groups. Employing deceptive tactics such as fake email addresses and social media strategies, they skillfully promoted pro-Qatar narratives and rallied support for various Qatari causes. This involved leveraging articles published by journalists who held a sympathetic stance towards Qatar.
Clash with Avisa Partners: The Battle of Private Intelligence Agencies
ALP Services viewed Avisa Partners, a private intelligence firm closely linked to Qatar, as a substantial threat. These two agencies were actively involved in counterespionage, each striving to uncover the other’s illicit activities and tarnish their respective reputations.
Intrusive Tactics and Privacy Invasions
In their relentless pursuit of intelligence, ALP Services resorted to extreme measures, delving into the realm of intrusive surveillance on Qatari lobbyists such as Sihem Souid. These activities, however, went beyond the boundaries of legality, resulting in grave accusations of theft and invasion of privacy.
Reactions of MEPs and Allegations of Immunity Violations:
Several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including Eva Kaili and Marc Tarabella, have raised serious concerns regarding the infringement of their immunity and the European rule of law by ALP Services. These MEPs have vehemently condemned the covert surveillance and deliberate efforts to undermine their work.
The Cost of the Operation
ALP Services billed the UAE a significant amount, totaling at least 218,000 euros for the Constellation project. However, despite their efforts, the second phase of the operation remained unresolved.
The ALP Services-Qatargate scandal brings to light the shadowy realm of intelligence agencies and their influence on shaping geopolitical narratives. The clash between ALP Services and Avisa Partners underscores the extent to which nations resort to clandestine activities to safeguard their interests.
As the Qatargate scandal continues to unfold, it serves as a stark reminder of the profound impact disinformation campaigns and covert operations can have on the global stage.