The nation of Qatar likely targeted an American Rabbi in a hacking scheme because of his ties to Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, according to court documents that reportedly show communications between two Qatari agents.
The Jewish Journal reports:
The Journal reviewed a series of WhatsApp messages between Nick Muzin, the former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) presidential campaign, and Joey Allaham, former owner of New York kosher restaurants. The two were reportedly contracted to conduct lobbying efforts on behalf of the Qatari government.
Former Republican National Committee (RNC) finance chairman and Qatar critic Elliott Broidy has targeted ex-U.N. diplomat Jamal Benomar in a lawsuit, alleging that he “orchestrated the dissemination of materials stolen from Mr. Broidy’s computers to U.S. media organizations,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Jewish Journal continues:
On Jan. 26, Allaham messaged Muzin, “This Vegas thing is bothering me,” referencing that Allaham and Muzin were not going to be welcomed at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) leadership retreat in April. A Republican source told the Journal that this was in part due to their ties to the Qatari government.
“It’s really shocking,” Muzin responded. “Someone very influential there is out to get me. It must be Sheldon [Adelson],” adding that he thought “Shmuley [Boteach] stirred him up.”
The remaining communications between Muzin and Allaham show the two Qatari agents monitoring news coverage of Broidy as they discussed their intentions to “go after” him in the news media.
“Boteach and Adelson have close ties, as Adelson donated $500,000 to Boteach’s 2012 congressional campaign as well as an additional $500,000 to a PAC supporting Boteach’s candidacy,” the Journal added. “Adelson has also been a supporter of Boteach’s The World Values Network.”
A Bloomberg report from September said that Boteach was one of the people targeted by the alleged Qatari hacking operation which specialists estimate targeted “more than 1,000” people.
“If it can happen to me and my wife, it can happen to you,” Boteach said after the alleged hack was first reported. “No one is safe. Our government must protect us and must enact punitive measures against Qatar. And we must find out which Americans may have illegally collaborated in the effort.”
The Qatari government contracted with Muzin in an effort to influence approximately 250 people that were “identified as influential in President Trump’s orbit,” with the goal of getting the Trump administration to soften their stances on the Gulf states – which allegedly fund terror groups like Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has emerged as a key figure in Broidy’s lawsuit against Qatar’s agents and is reportedly considering granting diplomatic status to Benomar, which would shield “him from his alleged involvement in an illegal hacking scheme.”