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Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sues Qatar over email hack

Published: Updated:

Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sued Qatar on Monday, accusing it of trying to discredit him by stealing and leaking emails that detailed his contacts with the Trump administration and the United Arab Emirates.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “sccording to Broidy’s lawsuit, Qatar’s representatives identified him as an impediment to their plan to improve the country’s standing in Washington, and developed an effort to discredit him. The lawsuit is filed against the state of Qatar and one of the country’s Washington-based lobbyists, Nick Muzin, of Stonington Strategies.”

The report cites the lawsuit as saying: “This is a case about a hostile intelligence operation undertaken by a foreign nation” against American citizens “who have spoken out against that country’s support for terrorism and who have entered into significant business relationships relating to defense and counterterrorism with a rival nation.”

Legal representatives for Broidy, a prominent Republican fundraiser and philanthropist, had earlier informed Qatari leaders that they had uncovered forensic evidence tying the Qatari government to a massive hack on Broidy that led to a series of damaging stories in the US press.

"We now possess irrefutable forensic evidence tying Qatar to this unlawful attack on, and espionage directed against, a prominent US citizen within the territory of the United States," Lee Wolosky, a lawyer from the legal team Boies Schiller Flexner, wrote to Qatari Al Thani family’s member Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani. "We have made aware, or are in the process of making aware, relevant US authorities, including US counterintelligence authorities."

Some of the materials disseminated in the wake of the hack were later said to be forged or altered, according to those familiar with the situation.

Broidy, who runs an intelligence firm called Circinus that has multi-million dollar contracts with UAE, maintains the Qatari government orchestrated the hack and altered some documents that were eventually leaked to the press.

While working with Qatar, Broidy secured lucrative contracts with the UAE to provide security services through Circunus.

"The individuals located in Qatar tied to this attack evidently believed they could maintain anonymity by trying to disguise their malicious activity targeting Mr. Broidy's servers," the letter states. "They were wrong. Mr. Broidy's advanced cybercrime forensics unit has established Qatar's ties to this illegal hacking operation."

An earlier news report quoted one veteran foreign policy operative with intimate knowledge of the Qatar controversy as saying that Doha went too far in its illicit operations and is now likely to suffer repercussions from US authorities.