Belgium has summoned the UAE ambassador following allegations of a disinformation campaign tarnishing reputations, falsely associating individuals and entities with the Muslim Brotherhood. The accusations against the UAE stem from a report uncovering the activities of Swiss firm, Alp Services.
Alp Services, from 2017 to 2020, profiled individuals and organizations across Europe in an operation supposedly commissioned by Emirati intelligence. Documents detailing this operation, obtained by French digital newspaper Mediapart, have been shared with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).
Several Belgians were targeted in this disinformation campaign, including Zakia Khattabi, Belgium’s federal environment minister. Khattabi, along with her party Ecolo, denied any connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and decried the UAE’s involvement in the campaign.
The UAE has neither confirmed nor denied the accusations. Alp Services claims their actions were based on “stolen data” and questioned the authenticity of their documents. The UAE’s alleged financing of Alp’s smear campaigns was previously reported by The New Yorker.