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Hacked Emails Show Top UAE Diplomat Coordinating With Pro-Israel Think Tank Against Iran

PHOTO: The Intercept/Getty

By Zaid Jilani and Ryan Grim | 3 June 2017

THE INTERCEPT — The email account of one of Washington’s most connected and influential foreign operatives has been hacked. A small tranche of those emails was sent this week to media outlets, including The Intercept, HuffPost and The Daily Beast, with the hacker promising to release a trove publicly.

The hotmail account belongs to the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and The Intercept can confirm it is the one he used for most Washington business. HuffPost confirmed at least one of the emails as authentic and the UAE has confirmed that Otaiba’s account was indeed hacked.

Otaiba’s influence derives largely from his pocketbook, as the ambassador is well known for throwing lavish dinner parties, galas, and hosting powerful figures on extravagant trips. Several Christmases ago, he sent out iPads as gifts to journalists and other Washington power players as gifts. There’s no telling what kind of messages might reside in that inbox.

The hackers used a .ru email address, associated with Russia, and referred to themselves as GlobalLeaks, tying themselves to DCLeaks, a website that previously released Democratic emails. The intelligence community has said DCLeaks is a Russian-operated website, which means that the Otaiba hackers are either connected with Russia or trying to give the impression that they are. […]

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