FBI seizes retired general’s pressure data in Qatar

Court files detail Allen’s behind-the-scenes efforts to help Qatar influence US policy in 2017, when a diplomatic crisis erupted between the gas-rich kingdom in the Persian Gulf and its neighbors.

“There is strong evidence that FAA violations were intentional,” FBI agent Babak Adeeb wrote in a search warrant request, referring to the FAA.

Adeeb wrote that Allen also misrepresented his role in the lobbying campaign in front of US officials, failing to disclose “that he was simultaneously seeking multi-million dollar business deals with the government of Qatar”.

The FBI says Allen provided a “false version of events” about his work for Qatar during a 2020 interview with law enforcement officials and failed to produce relevant emails in response to an earlier grand jury subpoena, the affidavit said.

The 77-page request appeared to have been submitted in error and was removed from the agenda on Tuesday after the Associated Press contacted federal authorities about its contents.

Allen declined to comment on the new filings. He previously denied working as a Qatari agent, and said his efforts on Qatar in 2017 were motivated to prevent a war in the Gulf that would endanger US forces.

A spokesman for Allen Bo Phillips told The Associated Press last week that Allen “voluntarily cooperated with the government’s investigation into this matter.”

The Brookings Institution, one of the most influential research institutions in the United States, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Qatar has long been one of the Brookings Institution’s largest financial backers, although the institution says it recently stopped receiving Qatari funding.

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Olson was working with Zubairy on another Qatar issue when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states announced a blockade of the gas-rich monarchy over Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorist groups and other issues in mid-2017.

Shortly after the blockade was announced, then-US President Donald Trump appears to be siding with Qatar.

Court papers say Allen played a significant role in changing the US response. Specifically, authorities say Allen lobbied then-National Security Adviser HR McMaster to get the Trump administration to adopt a more Qatar-friendly tone.

On June 9 via email to McMaster, Allen said the Qataris were “requesting some help” and wanted the White House or State Department to issue a statement in specific language calling on all parties to the Gulf diplomatic crisis to “act with restraint.”

Federal law enforcement officials say then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did what Allen told McMaster the Qataris wanted to do two days later, releasing a statement that “steps away from previous White House statements.” Tillerson’s statement called on other Gulf states to “relax the blockade imposed on Qatar” and asked “that there be no further escalation by the parties in the region.”

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