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Court filings by the Associated Press reveal that a former CIA operative who spied on Qatar’s opponents to assist the country land this year’s World Cup is now under FBI review for offering covert services beyond football in an attempt to manipulate US policy.
Kevin Chalker is on probation
According to two anonymous sources familiar with the inquiry, the FBI has been looking into whether or whether Kevin Chalker’s work for Qatar violates any laws pertaining to foreign lobbying, spying, or the export of sensitive technologies for months.
According to the Associated Press, Chalker’s objective was to improve Qatar’s reputation in the eyes of influential Americans while simultaneously discrediting those who have blamed the Persian Gulf monarchy for sponsoring terrorism and other crimes.
Over the past few years, federal investigators have paid a lot of attention to Qatar’s influence attempts, particularly those that involved former US national security officials.
In the past year, AP has reported on how Chalker and his company, Global Risk Advisors (GRA), spied on football officials in competitor countries to help Qatar host the WorldCup22.
There was an unsuccessful two-year propaganda effort to get an upper German football official to loosen up his scrutiny of Qatar, which also included the use of a Facebook “honeypot” in which an attractive woman is used to lure in a target; another person posed as a photojournalist to keep tabs on one country’s bid, and the choice was announced in 2010.
Chalker denies allegations
According to a newly published Associated Press investigation based on documents from Global Risk Advisors and interviews with Chalker’s colleagues, much of his efforts in the years since has been on trying to increase Qatar’s sway in the United States, even up to this point where all the World Cup 2022 fixtures Singapore time are all set.
Specifically, they proposed a massive covert influence effort to harm the reputations of US officials seen as enemies of Qatar and attempted to arrange high-level talks between Qatari officials and top CIA leaders.
Among the company’s internal records is a boast about its use of spycraft to investigate a lawmaker whose bill was rejected by Qatar. According to one firm document, Global Risk Advisors has continuously defended Qatar by counter attacking its enemies.
Attorney Kevin Carroll, representing Chalker, stated that his client and Global Risk Advisors had never done anything wrong and were not aware of any federal inquiry.
The FBI stated that it was unable to comment on the rumored probe. Despite attempts by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to marginalize Qatar and taint relations with the US, the energy-rich country, which hosts a major US military base, has invested billions in recent years to effectively ward off the rivals.
How it all started
After spending time as a covert operations agent for the CIA in the 2000s, Chalker established a fruitful and lasting working connection with Qatar. He had a key role in securing Qatar as Global Risk Advisors’ primary customer, which ultimately led to the expansion of the firm to four new locations (London, New York, Doha, and Washington).
A 2018 video called Enemies of Peace, produced with the support of the firm was very critical of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as per two ex-Chalker associates, who claim the company was engaged in a clandestine intelligence operation against Qatar’s rivals.
The filmmaker told the AP he had no idea one of the film’s consultants was employed by GRA. Interviews and documents reveal that for years, GRA and its affiliates supplied military and intelligence training to Qatari authorities, including members of the royal family.
There were a wide variety of training options, including hostage rescue and covert operations. Some former Chalker personnel have voiced concerns that the Qatari training exceeded the legal limit by exposing US soldiers and spies to techniques that are illegal to share outside of the US.
According to Chalker’s lawyer, Global Risk Advisors has all the necessary clearances from the United States government. Hundreds of pages of records were handed to the AP by former acquaintances of Chalker who requested anonymity out of fear of punishment.
According to interviews and company documents, former CIA employee Denis Mandich, who served as the agency’s liaison to Silicon Valley, advised and discussed with Chalker some of his recommendations.
One such project was a multibillion-dollar plan by Global Risk Advisors to invest in tech firms on Qatar’s behalf in 2014. This was proposed as a means to prevent the sale of potentially compromising technologies to Qatar’s Persian Gulf adversaries.
Company records are silent on the matter, and once Mandich departed the agency to serve as one of Chalker’s top lieutenants at Global Risk Advisors, he presumably never saw the project through. If you have any queries about Mandich’s time spent at GRA, you will not get a response from his lawyers.
According to internal company records, including a draft contract, Global Risk Advisors developed a comprehensive security plan in 2014 to implement a monitoring system in Qatar that could monitor mobile phones in the nation with great precision and enable analysts to completely separate conversations and listen in real time.
In addition, the Project Berlin plan recommended developing a mobile app for the World Cup 2022 that would track the whereabouts of its users. Not to be confused with World Cup 2022 livestream apps which only function as a platform where you can catch the FIFA matches live.
According to Chalker’s memos and other corporate files, Qatar had given Project Berlin its initial OK.
The trial continues
While everything has little to do with people who are solely into the World Cup betting odds 2022 and World Cup betting, it may impact the overall Qatar experience for those attending the matches in some way or another.
According to internal corporate documents, one Qatari official recommended that Chalker schedule such a meeting in order to secure a “golden stamp of approval” for the company’s numerous projects.
Chalker boasted of having unrivaled access to the most powerful ranks of the Qatari government, but documents reveal his attempts to orchestrate such a meeting failed and the CIA declined to provide information and statement.
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