I’ve been trying to keep on top of the latest shocker revelation that Blackwater founder and Trump supporter, Erik Prince, lied about a meeting in Seychelles, where he attempted to set up a backchannel of communication between the Trump team and Moscow.
The Seychelles meeting happened in January 2017, and while Prince has blown it off as a brief, chance meeting, a cooperating witness, Lebanese-American businessman, George Nader, is working with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and has testified that the meeting was, in fact, planned.
Today, a story in the Daily Mail UK is reporting on others involved in that meeting.
Along with Nader and Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian official close with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the meeting was convened by Mohamed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
But DailyMail.com can disclose that also present were bin Zayed’s spy chief and a Palestinian seen as the crown prince’s personal conduit to Putin’s Kremlin.
The two men – Hamad al Mazroie, the de facto head of the UAE intelligence service, and Mohammed Dahlan, a bin Zayed adviser who is fluent in Russian – were never named by Prince when he testified to the House intelligence committee about the meeting.
It was said to be an attempt by the UAE to create a back channel of communication between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin.
It gets a bit more uncomfortable when you combine this tidbit of knowledge with the recent report of officials from four nations discussing how to manipulate White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
One of those four nations was the United Arab Emirates.
But back to Seychelles…
Prince has described that Seychelles meeting as chance. He was introduced to Dmitriev by the crown prince, who happened to have some brothers with him, as well as his entourage.
According to sources close to the UAE leadership, al Mazroie acts as bin Zayed’s right hand man and informal head of intelligence, giving him access to the country’s advanced surveillance technology.
The sources say he is at the center of an Emirati plan to exert influence on both western democracies and its neighboring Gulf states.
And apparently, Mazroie is a master manipulator and blackmailer.
Leaked text messages have claimed to show the spymaster threatening to release naked photos of Kuwaiti politicians in an attempt to influence the country’s parliamentary elections.
Abdullah al Saleh, a Saudi opposition activist in London tweeted a copy of the texts, claiming: ‘Hamad al Mazroie leaked this picture to social media outlets to blackmail and influence the Kuwaiti elections.’
And what about Mohammed Dahlan? Who is he?
Dahlan is a former leader of the Fatah party in the Gaza Strip and was exiled in 2011 and fled to the UAE amid allegations he may have murdered Yasser Arafat.
There he became a security adviser to bin Zayed, according to the Emirati source, and began working as an informal UAE emissary to the Kremlin, helping coordinate the UAE’s military action to cooperate with Russian interests.
‘We’re entering Dahlan’s ninth year there now. He became closer and closer to MBZ and more powerful in the UAE.
‘His assignments changed from just giving advice to going on secret missions, meeting at the Kremlin on behalf of MBZ,’ said the source.
The source added that Dahlan worked closely with both Prince and Nader.
Quite the resume.
The source for this story, who claims to be close to bin Zayed, says this wasn’t the only meeting between Prince and Dahlan. The claim is that Prince, Dahlan, and the Russians met several more times in the Maldives (a second island archipelago).
Meanwhile, Nader is a big player, in his own right.
He’s reportedly a friend of both Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, having spoke with the Trump White House about Middle East strategy, all while being on the UAE payroll, as an adviser to their leadership.
He also apparently does a lot of undercover work for Abu Dhabi and spends a lot of time there.
What’s more, he helped broker an arms deal between Iraq and Russia.
Nader’s testimony to Mueller was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have contradicted Prince’s evidence to the House intel committee.
In particular, the Journal reported, Nader had said that the Emiratis did not introduce Prince and Dmitriev, and that they were under the impression that Prince was attending as a surrogate for the Trump transition – while the Russian was representing Putin.
A leaked email showed that Nader was given a memo on a private Oval Office meeting by a top Trump donor.
Elliott Broidy, who was a major financial backer to the president’s electoral campaign, sent Nader the memo after meeting Trump in the White House, according to the report.
Broidy, whose private security company Circinus has contracts with the UAE worth hundreds of millions of dollars, lobbied Trump to back the UAE’s military action in the Gulf during the meeting, according to the memo.
It’s a lot to take in, and it makes an already complicated investigation even more complicated. It’s a puzzle piece that special counsel Robert Mueller has, now, and you can believe he’s checking every aspect.