A legal complaint filed in US Federal Court on Friday by former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy unveiled explosive evidence of a world-wide-web of criminal activity orchestrated by the government of Qatar and a United States-based security firm it hired to tip the bidding to host the <a href="https:\/\/www.fifa.com\/worldcup\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2022 World Cup<\/a> in Doha\u2019s favor.\r\n\r\nQatar, an absolute monarchy ruled by the Al Thani family, paid Global Risk Advisors (GRA), a New York-based private security firm, over $100 million to intimidate and silence <a href="https:\/\/see.news\/?s=Fifa" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">FIFA<\/a> officials and prominent American critics of the oil-rich state, alleges the complaint.\r\n\r\nSpecifically, the complaint alleges \u201cworld-class hackers\u201d recruited by GRA from the U.S. Special Forces, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency targeted Broidy in retaliation for his \u201chigh-profile criticism\u201d of the oil-rich nation.\r\n\r\n\u201cGRA actively pitched Qatar by offering Qatar access to some of the most highly trained former counterintelligence personnel in the world\u2014to help secure Qatar\u2019s status as host,\u201d the complaint alleged.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs controversy swirled in subsequent years, the GRA Defendants outlined their ability to employ intelligence community skills and covert action campaigns to neutralize key voices in the growing choir of critics who advocated that World Cup 2022 be reassigned to a different host country.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe complaint alleges that GRA CEO Kevin Chalker, a former CIA operative and Yale adjunct professor, led the operation.\r\n\r\nMr. Chalker had previously acted \u201cto neutralize\u201d Theo Zwanziger, the former president of the German Football Association who was then serving as a member of FIFA\u2019s executive committee and who sought to retract Qatar\u2019s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, \u201cby targeting him and influencing people close to him through covert influence and operations. The assignment included infiltrating FIFA itself.\u201d\r\n\r\nIt adds: \u201cGRA\u2019s tactics included a covert action program, so-called \u201cblack ops,\u201d and the use of IT platforms. They targeted individuals and entities across multiple continents, set up, and terminated multiple \u201ccover for action\u201d entities in various jurisdictions.\r\n\r\nBy the spring of 2014, Chalker and GRA had succeeded\u2014Zwanziger had come full circle, and his public statements now generally supported World Cup 2022 remaining in Qatar as a way to improve social justice reform efforts there.\r\n\r\nAccording to the complaint, GRA requested from Qatar more than $500 million for this work but ultimately received about $100 million, primarily for illegal activity.\r\n\r\nIt alleges that \u201cGRA would train Qatari officers in defensive counter-intelligence and offensive intelligence collection tactics, including advanced, sophisticated skills that trained former U.S. intelligence and military operatives are typically barred from sharing or conferring unto foreign governments.\u201d \u201cProject Deviant\u201d was the plan\u2019s codename.\r\n\r\nThe complaint documents GRA\u2019s promotional materials touting its \u201cadvanced techniques to penetrate target networks,\u201d and methods to \u201cintrude into servers\u201d. A technique called \u201cspear-phishing\u201d was employed in December 2017 to \u201cobtain access to Broidy\u2019s confidential documents so that they could be manipulated and strategically disseminated to damage Broidy economically and as a spokesperson for opponents of Qatar\u2019s support of terrorism\u201d, the complaint continues.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_136044" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]<img class="size-full wp-image-136044" src="https:\/\/see.news\/wp-content\/uploads\/2020\/07\/Elliott-Broidy.jpg" alt="Elliott Broidy" width="1000" height="562" \/> Elliott Broidy[\/caption]\r\n\r\n\u201cMr. Chalker celebrated the launch of the spear-phishing campaign that very night, on Wednesday, December 27, 2017, by taking associates to the Sapphire Gentlemen\u2019s club in New York City,\u201d the report alleges.\r\n\r\nThe GRA attack against Broidy he alleges was not an isolated incident, but rather part of a larger campaign of \u201cspecial projects\u201d overseen by Ali al-Thawadi, Chief of Staff to Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the brother of Qatar\u2019s Emir, who oversaw the campaign to secure the World Cup.\r\n\r\nHassan Al Thawadi, who is currently overseeing Qatar\u2019s preparation for the World Cup personally approved the agreement \u2013 and was code-named \u201cArchie\u201d, according to the complaint.\r\n\r\n\u201cMr. Chalker maintained particularly close contact with Shep,\u201d the lawsuit alleges. \u201cShep\u201d was the Project Deviant code name for Ali al-Thawadi.\r\n\r\n\u201cGRA\u2019s U.S.-based teams would regularly compile and synthesize the results of their covert intelligence gathering, including their hacking and physical and electronic surveillance efforts, and produce a glossy, printed deliverable for Shep every two to three months The information GRA brought to Shep included highly personal, non-public information on American citizens.\u201d\r\n\r\nGRA then used that stolen content for a comprehensive public relations campaign to silence Qatar\u2019s American critics, according to the complaint.\r\n\r\nIn addition to hiring GRA, Qatar\u2019s government retained Stonington Strategies LLC, a Delaware-based firm, \u201cin an attempt to influence the Republican, American-Jewish community and other conservative supporters of the President, with the end goal of influencing White House policy,\u201d the lawsuit alleged.\r\n\r\n\u201cTheir work included identifying Mr. Broidy and other Americans as critics to be silenced.\u201d\r\n\r\nQatar engaged the principals at Stonington -- Nicolas Muzin and Joseph Allaham \u2013 along with Gregory Howard who worked as a Qatari agent at the firm Conover & Gould before taking a job with Mercury Public Affairs.\r\n\r\nMuzin, chairman at Stonington and a registered foreign agent of Qatar, \u201cadmitted that he identified and described Broidy to the Qatari government as impediments to Qatar\u2019s foreign policy interests in the United States,\u201d according to the complaint.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn connection with his work for Qatar, Mr. Muzin or his employees or agents participated in weekly meetings at the Qatari Embassy in Washington, DC, where they discussed the ongoing efforts against Mr. Broidy. Mr. Muzin specifically mentioned Mr. Broidy in these meetings as an obstacle that needed to be dealt with for his lobbying on behalf of Qatar to succeed.\u201d\r\n\r\nMuzin\u2019s firm was placed on retainer by Mr. al-Thawadi in 2017 for a monthly sum of $50,000. As Mr. al-Thawadi, GRA, and Mr. Muzin\u2019s associates began to plan the attack on Broidy. The complaint alleges that \u201cincreased payments flowed to these key public relations strategists.\u201d\r\n\r\nOn December 15, 2017, days before the attack on Broidy began, Stonington received a $500,000 balloon payment and saw its retainer increased to $300,000 a month.\r\n\r\nOver this same period, Allaham, who worked directly for Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, \u201chad five separate phone calls with MBH\u2019s chief of staff, Ali al-Thawadi. GRA also worked very closely with Mr. Thawadi,\u201d the report claimed.\r\n\r\nThe lawsuit comes in the wake of investigations into Qatar\u2019s influence targeting of U.S. institutions of higher learning by the U.S. Department of Education and alleged bribery of FIFA officials to secure the 2022 World Cup by the U.S. Department of Justice.