In the throes of criticism on several fronts (corruption, human rights, environment), Qatar once again finds itself at the center of suspicion a few days after “its” World Cup. According to a survey by Sunday times and the journalistic NGO The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), on Sunday 6 November the emirate of gas appears as the alleged sponsor of a global espionage operation conduct against personalities – investigative journalists, political leaders, lawyers – linked in one way or another to the controversial attribution, in December 2010, of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, or to criticism of the host country of the tournament.
On the basis of confidential documents, the two British media accuse an Indian company specializing in the technique of “phishing” and its “brain”, Aditya Jain, of having carried out cyber attacks against a hundred personalities.
The list of victims of hackers presented by the Sunday times and the TBIJ is long. These include the former French president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Platini; the President of the Swiss Republic Ignazio Cassis; former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond; Chris Mason, political editor of the BBC; the French Senator (Centrist Union) Nathalie Goulet; director Rokhaya Diallo; the reporter from Mediaparty Filipino Yann; Ghanem Nuseibeh, head of British consultancy Cornerstone Global; or former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
According to two British media outlets, Mr Jain’s main client is Jonas Rey, a private investigator who worked for the Swiss economic intelligence firm Diligence Global. This company would have been hired in 2019 “working on a project related to the World Cup”.
Aditya Jain allegedly admitted to two undercover reporters of the Sunday times obtain “The e-mail data of some high-profile people in relation to the International Football Association [FIFA] “at the request of Jonas Rey, whose client was a “Gulf States”or rather Qatar.
“TBIJ’s allegations are manifestly false and unsubstantiatedreplied a spokesman for the Qatari government. The report is based on a single source that claims its end customer was Qatar, while there is no evidence for this. “
Among the personalities successfully “hacked” by this network of computer hackers is the British journalist of Sunday times Jonathan Calvert, co-author of the book The bad game: Qatar’s plot to buy the World Cup (Simon and Schuster, 2015, untranslated), who returned to the corruption suspicions surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup. It was under his leadership that the Sunday times revealed, in 2019, the existence of a contract dating back to November 2010 between the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera and FIFA.
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