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28 April, 2018

Dubai based PR firm hired producer of fake terrorist videos to make anti-Qatar film

A Pentagon “propagandist,” who previously headed a company that was paid half a billion dollars to produce fake terrorist videos in Iraq, was hired by a Dubai based company to create a film accusing Qatar of links to terrorism, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed.

Charles Andreae, the CEO of Andreae & Associates which was contracted to produce the film, used to work for PR firm Bell Pottinger, the UK PR firm that was payed $540 million dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq.

The firm was employed to produce the anti-Qatari film amidst a diplomatic row in which the Saudi and UAE governments cut ties with Doha, which it accused of supporting terrorism. Qatar has strongly denied the accusation and accused its neighbours of fabricating stories. US intelligence agencies have since confirmed that the UAE orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites to justify its unprecedented attack against Qatar.

According to the Bureau, Andreae was given over $500,000 to produce a six-part film linking Qatar with global terrorism. The film, entitled “Qatar: A Dangerous Alliance,” features a number of neo-conservative pundits making the UAE and Saudi case against Qatar in a 37-minute video.

Copies of the film are said to have been distributed at an event at the right-wing Hudson Institute think-tank last October. President Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is said to have been a keynote speaker at the event, as was former Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and General David Petraeus, former CIA director, the Bureau reported.

The contract only came to light following a newly-filed lobbying declaration with the US Department of Justice. US companies are required by law to disclose information on lobbying and PR work for foreign clients.

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