Hacked emails of Yousef Al- Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States, revealed the close relationship between al-Otaiba and UAE, FDD which were responsible for the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey.
The emails allegedly stolen from the inbox of the Yousef Al- Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States, revealed on Saturday the close relationship between al-Otaiba and a pro-Israel, neo-conservative think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
The Intercept reported that the emails were hacked and distributed by a group calling itself "GlobalLeaks" tying themselves to DCLeaks, a website that previously released Democratic National Committee emails. According to the report, the hackers used a .ru email address, associated with Russia.
The hacked emails show that Otaiba has been in frequent contact with the neo-conservative think tank FDD, which is funded by pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In one of the emails obtained by the Intercept, FDD senior counselor John Hannah, a former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, sent Otaiba an article claiming that both the UAE and FDD were responsible for the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey, saying he is "honored to be in the UAE's company."
Hannah previously published an article on the Foreign Policy titled "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erdoğan?", in which he suggested that the Turkish military would turn on Erdoğan to "save" Turkey.
In another email, Hannah tells Otaiba that Qatar, another Gulf state that the UAE is at odds with, is hosting the Palestinian movement Hamas at an Emirati-owned hotel.
Otaiba says that it's not the Emirati government's fault, and that the real issue is the U.S. military base in Qatar, "How's this, you move the base then we'll move the hotel :-)."
The emails also include the proposed agenda of an upcoming meeting between the FDD and the UAE government on June 11-14, in which the attendees are set to discuss Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The attendees, including FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz, Hannah and Jonathan Schanzer, FDD vice president for research, were expected to discuss issues like "Implications of Erdoğan's executive presidency", "Erdoğan's regional role and ambitions", "Al Jazeera as an instrument of regional instability" and "discussion of possible U.S./UAE policies to positively impact Iranian internal situation."
In an email sent on March 10, 2017 by the FDD's CEO Dubowitz to Otaiba and Hannah the subject read "Target list of companies investing in Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia."
"Dear, Mr. Ambassador, the attached memorandum details companies listed by country which are doing business with Iran and also have business with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is a target list for putting these companies to a choice, as we have discussed." the email read.
The list consists "non-U.S. businesses with operations in Saudi Arabia or UAE that are looking to invest in Iran", which includes a number of major international firms, including France's Airbus and Russia's Lukoil.
Most Gulf Arab states have no official ties with Israel on the surface. Saudi and UAE media recently started a smear campaign against Qatar as a newspaper posted a story citing about what it said were Qatari ties with Israel, using an old photo of the then Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani shaking hands with late Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The leaked emails targeting the Qatari government and Doha-based Al-Jazeera is likely to deepen the current crisis among the Gulf Arab states.