UAE hacking of Qatari government Internet sites


This video says about itself:

U.S. Believes UAE Orchestrated Hacking That Sparked Gulf Crisis

16 July 2017

The U.S. intelligence community believes that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) orchestrated the hacking incident that sparked the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Gulf countries, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. James Valles reports. (BNO News)

From the Washington Post in the USA:

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials

By Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima

July 16 at 6:25 PM

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas.

The hacks and posting took place on May 24, shortly after President Trump completed a lengthy counterterrorism meeting with Persian Gulf leaders in neighboring Saudi Arabia and declared them unified.

Citing the emir’s reported comments, the Saudis, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media. They then broke relations with Qatar and declared a trade and diplomatic boycott, sending the region into a political and diplomatic tailspin that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned could undermine U.S. counterterrorism efforts against the Islamic State [ISIS].

In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post article was “false.”

“The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,” the statement said. “What is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi.

Even if these UAE accusations would happen to be true, then it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. As the UAE used to be one of only three countries (including also Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, not including Qatar) to recognize the Taliban regime in Kabul, Afghanistan; and as Qatar’s armed forces played a prominent role in the NATO regime change war in Libya, which caused the murder of Qadafi and the present bloodbath after bloodbath.

Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors.”

The revelations come as emails purportedly hacked from Otaiba’s private account have circulated to journalists over the past several months. That hack has been claimed by an apparently pro-Qatari organization calling itself GlobalLeaks. Many of the emails highlight the UAE’s determination over the years to rally Washington thinkers and policymakers to its side on the issues at the center of its dispute with Qatar.

All of the Persian Gulf nations are members of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State. More than 10,000 U.S. troops are based at Qatar’s al-Udeid Air Base, the U.S. Central Command’s regional headquarters, and Bahrain is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. All are purchasers of U.S. defense equipment and tied to U.S. foreign policy priorities in numerous ways.

The conflict has also exposed sharp differences between Trump — who has clearly taken the Saudi and UAE side in a series of tweets and statements — and Tillerson, who has urged compromise and spent most of last week in shuttle diplomacy among the regional capitals that has been unsuccessful so far. …

U.S. intelligence and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter. …

In what the [US Donald Trump] administration hailed as a high point of the visit, the Saudis agreed to purchase $110 billion in U.S. arms and signed letters of intent to invest hundreds of billions in deals with U.S. companies.

He had told the Saudis in advance, Trump said in an interview Wednesday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, that the agreements and purchases were a prerequisite for his presence. “I said, you have to do that, otherwise I’m not going,” Trump recounted. …

The day after the boycott was announced, Trump indirectly took credit for it. “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with King and 50 countries already paying off,” he tweeted. “They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar.” …

Qatar rejected the demands. Tillerson appeared to agree that they were draconian. But when he called for the boycott to be eased, saying it was causing both security and humanitarian hardship, Trump said the measure was harsh “but necessary.” …

Asked about Trump’s tweets and other comments, he [Tillerson] noted that being secretary of state “is a lot different than being CEO of Exxon,” his previous job, “because I was the ultimate decision-maker.”

This report is contrary to earlier accusations by CNN that Russia was behind the hacking.

Inside the alleged financial plot by the United Arab Emirates to steal the World Cup from Qatar.

The UK government is being accused of fanning the flames of the Gulf crisis after it included both sides of the dispute in a newly published list of countries identified by officials as “priority markets” for the UK’s £12bn defence industry, Middle East Eye can reveal. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain are listed alongside regional rival Qatar on a list of 46 nations highlighted by Whitehall officials as potentially lucrative markets for weapons.

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UAE princesses mistreat servants


This 27 June 2017 video is called UAE Princesses Found Guilty Of Mistreating Servants In Belgium.

Let the ruling families of the UAE, and the royal family of Saudi Arabia (where there also have been, eg, this scandal and this one of mistreating servants) stop crimes like this, before waging bloody war in Yemen and practicing brinksmanship toward war with rival autocracy Qatar, which may lead to war with Turkey and/or war with Iran, and/or World War III .. like the 1914 Austrian emperor’s ultimatum to Serbia led to World War I.

Secret Saudi-UAE-USA torture prisons in occupied Yemen


This video from the USA says about itself:

C.I.A. Torture: Interrogating The Interrogators | The New York Times

21 June 2017

Two men who proposed interrogation techniques widely viewed as torture are part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of former C.I.A. detainees. Deposition videos, obtained exclusively by The New York Times, reveal new insights into the enhanced interrogation program and the C.I.A. officials behind it.

Read the story here.

By MAGGIE MICHAEL of Associated Press:

June 22, 7:57 AM EDT

In Yemen‘s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

MUKALLA, Yemen — Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme – including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.

The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen’s government,

The Saudi puppet Yemeni government in exile, only present in territory occupied by the Saudi absolute monarchy and its allies’ invasion forces.

which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.

The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others.

Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present.

Inside war-torn Yemen, however, lawyers and families say nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons, a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests among families seeking information about missing sons, brothers and fathers.

None of the dozens of people interviewed by AP contended that American interrogators were involved in the actual abuses. Nevertheless, obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party would violate the International Convention Against Torture and could qualify as war crimes, said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year

At one main detention complex at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, former inmates described being crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks on end. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the “grill,” and sexually assaulted. According to a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, American forces were at times only yards away. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

“We could hear the screams,” said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport. “The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber.” He was flogged with wires, part of the frequent beatings inflicted by guards against all the detainees. He also said he was inside a metal shipping container when the guards lit a fire underneath to fill it with smoke.

Like other ex-detainees, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being arrested again. The AP interviewed him in person in Yemen after his release from detention.

The AP interviewed 10 former prisoners, as well as a dozen officials in the Yemeni government, military and security services and nearly 20 relatives of detainees. The chief of Riyan prison, who is well known among families and lawyers as Emirati, did not reply to requests for comment.

Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel at Human Rights Watch, said the abuses “show that the US hasn’t learned the lesson that cooperating with forces that are torturing detainees and ripping families apart is not an effective way to fight extremist groups.” Human Rights Watch issued a report Thursday documenting torture and forced disappearances at the UAE-run prisons and calling on the Emirates to protect detainees’ rights.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has praised the UAE as “Little Sparta” for its outsized role in fighting …

U.S. forces send questions to the Emirati forces holding the detainees, which then send files and videos with answers, said Yemeni Brig. Gen. Farag Salem al-Bahsani, commander of the Mukalla-based 2nd Military District, which American officials confirmed to the AP. He also said the United States handed authorities a list of most wanted men, including many who were later arrested.

Al-Bahsani denied detainees were handed over to the Americans and said reports of torture are “exaggerated.”

The network of prisons echoes the secret detention facilities set up by the CIA to interrogate terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama disbanded the so-called “black sites.” The UAE network in war-torn Yemen was set up during the Obama administration and continues operating to this day.

“The UAE was one of the countries involved in the CIA’s torture and rendition program,” said Ryan Goodman, a law professor at NYU, who served as special counsel to the Defense Department until last year. “These reports are hauntingly familiar and potentially devastating in their legal and policy implications.”

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition meant to help Yemen’s [puppet] government [in exile] fight Shiite rebels known as Houthis …

A small contingent of American forces routinely moves in and out of Yemen, the Pentagon says, operating largely along the southern coast. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has escalated drone strikes in the country to more than 80 so far this year, up from around 21 in 2016, the U.S. military said. At least two commando raids were ordered against al-Qaida, including one in which a Navy SEAL was killed along with at least 25 civilians.

A U.S. role in questioning detainees in Yemen has not been previously acknowledged.

A Yemeni officer who said he was deployed for a time on a ship off the coast said he saw at least two detainees brought to the vessel for questioning. The detainees were taken below deck, where he was told American “polygraph experts” and “psychological experts” conducted interrogations. He did not have access to the lower decks. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation for discussing the operations.

Senior U.S. defense officials flatly denied the military conducts any interrogations of Yemenis on any ships.

The Yemeni officer did not specify if the ‘Americans on ships’ were U.S. military or intelligence personnel, private contractors, or some other group.

Two senior Yemen officials, one in Hadi’s Interior Ministry and another in the 1st Military District, based in Hadramawt province where Mukalla is located, also said Americans were conducting interrogations at sea, as did a former senior security official in Hadramawt. The three spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the U.S. role.

The AP learned the names of five suspects held at black sites who were said to have been interrogated by Americans. The Yemeni official on the ship identified one of the detainees brought there. Four others were identified by former detainees who said they were told directly by the men themselves that they were questioned by Americans.

One detainee, who was not questioned by U.S. personnel, said he was subject to constant beatings by his Yemeni handlers but was interrogated only once.

“I would die and go to hell rather than go back to this prison,” he said. “They wouldn’t treat animals this way. If it was bin Laden, they wouldn’t do this.”

Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor and Desmond Butler in Washington and Ahmed al-Haj and Maad al-Zikry in Yemen contributed to this report.

Investigating the Yemen prison interrogation programs.

The United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE), in coordination with Yemeni proxy forces, are operating a network of torture chambers in the war-torn country into which hundreds of men have been disappeared: here.

Saudi puppets in Yemen kill each other


This 14 August 2015 video shows United Arab Emirates people crying as UAE soldiers return from the Saudi war on Yemen in coffins.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen: Clashes at Aden airport kill three militia fighters

Monday 13th February 2017

INFIGHTING between Saudi-backed militias broke out yesterday at an airport in the southern port city of Aden.

Riyadh-based exiled president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s presidential guard — backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — reportedly surrounded the airport after three days of fighting.

Helicopter gunships attacked the rival militia, killing three.

The militia have controlled the airport since the invasion in late 2015. They refused to hand over the airport to Hadi loyalists last week.

The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led coalition, and the only other nation with significant ground forces in the country.

Meanwhile in Somalia’s breakaway northern province Somaliland — which lacks international recognition — parliament voted to allow the UAE to build a military base there, across the Red Sea from Yemen.

The move, opposed by neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti, sparked vocal protests from nine MPs, who were removed.

British-UAE dictatorship military cooperation


This video says about itself:

UAE secret prisons and torture revealed

13 October 2015

UAE torture survivors reveal cases of enforced kidnapping, arbitrary detention, secret prisons and torture.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Naval forces begin military exercises

Monday 16th January 2017

BRITISH and United Arab Emirates (UAE) naval forces began military exercises yesterday as threatening actions towards nearby Iran continued.

The UAE sits near the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which passes nearly a third of all the oil traded by sea.

The current “Sea Dagger” exercises may be meant to intimidate Iran, which lies on the northern side of the Persian Gulf.

United States warships have recently fired warning shots at Iranian vessels.

Britain is massively expanding its military presence is the Gulf, establishing the £30 million HMS Jufair naval base in Bahrain.

This country is a strong backer of the repressive UAE, which was cobbled together in the 1970s when Britain couldn’t afford to keep troops in what was a “protectorate” designed to exert control over the oil-producing region.

UAE forces are equipped with British weapons and 4,000 Emirati troops are deployed as part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s bloodbath in Yemen.

Wild animals banned as UAE pets


This video says about itself:

Dubai prince playing with his pet lions.

14 April 2016

These are Instagram videos of Humaid Albuqaish & his friends playing with his pet lions. He owns lions, cheetahs, tigers and many other exotic animals.

By Nick Visser, Reporter, The Huffington Post:

UAE’s Elite Use Exotic Pets As Status Symbols. Now, They’ll Have To Stick To Buying Sports Cars.

The Gulf state just outlawed ownership of wild animals as pets.

01/05/2017 07:20 am ET

British Theresa May and Arab absolute monarchs


This video from Britain says about itself:

Yemen: Britain’s Unseen War

30 September 2016

Krishnan Guru-Murthy reveals the catastrophic effect of a Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign in Yemen – which uses British-supplied weapons – with millions of people consequently facing starvation.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

May and her Tory pals toady up to the Gulf sheikhs

Friday 23rd December 2016

The PM has been sucking up to some odious characters from the Gulf Co-operation Council, writes SOLOMON HUGHES

ON her recent visit to the Middle East Theresa May showed her Tory government intends to creep and crawl to the autocracies of the Gulf, no matter how backward and repressive they are. Because they’ve got oil and money.

May can do this without too much trouble partly because, in the background, there is a flow of money and friendship between her back-bench MPs and the sheikhs.

May went to address the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in December. This is the alliance of all Arab rulers along the Persian gulf.

The GCC is made up of undemocratic, backward sheikhdoms — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Elections, human rights and even political parties are strangers in the lands of the sheikhs. And May told them they could stay like that as long as the money flows.

She was the first ever British prime minister to address the GCC directly. She came to their inner circle to talk sycophantically.

May told the sheikhs gathered in Bahrain that “just as Gulf security is our security, so your prosperity is also our prosperity.”

She means that her British government will stick with the sheikhs as long as the oil money flows. They can continue dropping bombs on Yemen, chopping off heads, shooting “Arab Spring” protesters: we will supply them with arms as long as the oil and money flow.

When May told the GCC: “We will succeed through our continued commitment to the rules-based order on which our prosperity has been built,” she meant rules written by medieval monarchies, rules that repress and exploit, are fine as long as there is money to be made.

But don’t expect many “freedom-loving” Tories to complain about May’s message to the Gulf dictators. Because her whole party is linked by money to the sheikhdoms.

Just a month before May’s speech there was an expensive jolly for Tory MPs in the Gulf arranged by a sheikh’s lobbyist employing one of their own ex-ministers.

Tory MP for Bristol North West Charlotte Leslie, Tory MP for Mid Sussex Nicholas Soames and Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon Nadhim Zahawi all went on a “parliamentary delegation” to Dubai to “gain a deeper understanding of the important strategic links between Dubai and the UK.”

The four-day trip cost £4,313 per person for “accommodation and transportation,” so this was a luxury junket to one of the United Arab Emirates. It was paid for by Falcon and Associates International Ltd.

Falcon & Associates is a PR firm owned by the sheikhs of Dubai, which is why it sounds like a cross between an episode of Game of Thrones and a Management Consultancy.

Falcon was established by the emir of Dubai to run Dubai’s abortive bid for the 2020 Olympics. The emir kept the company going to “work to positively influence the conversation about Dubai and the UAE as a place of opportunity for business, culture and lifestyle.”

This is how the conversation should really go: Dubai is an absolute monarchy with no democratic rights and a bad reputation for abusing foreign workers who build and service the city state.

But Falcon have an “in” with the Tories. Former Foreign Office minister Hugh Robertson stood down at the last election and promptly stepped into a new job doing PR for the repressive Middle Eastern government.

Until 2014 he was responsible for the Middle East and counter-terrorism. In 2015 he became head of the London office and director of international relations for Falcon and Associates.

So he used to help run the British government. Now he has used his “democratic” CV to get a job working for the undemocratic sheikhs.

And his firm has become very good at rounding up Tory MPs and sending them on expensive PR jaunts to the Gulf.

So while Prime Minister May is smiling at the sheikhs, her backbenchers are being shipped out on comfortable trips abroad by the same absolute monarchs and former Tory ministers.