Sunday, September 30, 2018

Middle East Think Tank Feud Deepens

Here is more from Politico:

The legal battle between SAPRAC, a Washington lobbying firm closely aligned with Saudi Arabia, and the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a think tank, has escalated since the think tank sued SAPRAC this summer. The suit alleged that Salman Al-Ansari, who runs SAPRAC, smeared Ali Al-Ahmed, one of the think tank’s experts, by calling him a terrorist in an interview with a blogger. SAPRAC’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the suit. The institute’s lawyers have responded by filing a legal motion of their own on Tuesday, including an affidavit signed by Al-Ahmed in which he reports living “in constant fear of being attacked, especially by people who sympathize with Saudi Arabia who will take Al-Ansari’s word as truth.”
Al-Ahmed also claims he’s been blackballed by reporters who used to interview him. “Specifically, a significant number of media outlets have stopped inviting me to appear, and those that had recorded interviews with me, such as BBC and NPR, chose not to air them after Al-Ansari made these statements,” he writes in the affidavit. “Additionally, the political newspaper called The Hill has ignored my request to become a contributing writer.” SAPRAC didn’t responded to a request for comment.

Here is a link to the Institute for Gulf Affairs' (IGA) website, and here is a link to Ali Al-Ahmed's biography.  IGA is based in Washington, DC.