Perhaps we have been too pessimistic. Perhaps, in the ocean of information that drowns the net, in addition to deliberately false information there are truths that, with difficulty, come to light and then finally assert themselves – like the one that, over the past three years, has led to the identification of the most important names of the great global manoeuvring machines of the mud machines that, for money, ruin the reputations of politicians, religious, military and above all intellectuals, so that totalitarian regimes can strike these sacrificial victims and remove them from circulation. Their dean, still active, is Mario Brero, in Geneva. But his is a method already widely used by Herman Göring during the years of National Socialism, and perfected today thanks to the web and social networks.

Yes. Because disinformation used as a weapon is nothing new. The manipulation of information sponsored by political power is centuries old, but in the digital age the subject takes on radically different forms. Above all, the advent of social media fuels mechanisms in the circulation of information that are quite unique: inhabited by millions of individuals who have chosen it as their primary source of information and exchange of opinions, these digital spaces have become highly effective vehicles for an enormous amount of news, the authorship and authenticity of which is impossible to verify.

The peculiarity of social media is that it gives – in the words of Umberto Eco – ‘the right to speak to legions of imbeciles who used to speak only at the bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. They were immediately silenced, whereas now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It is the invasion of imbeciles’. The social media thus become formidable echo chambers that amplify, distort, replicate disorderly and out of proportion, and the result is deafening noise. And if skilful orchestral masters creep into this perverse mechanism, the network takes on an extraordinarily dangerous role, transforming itself into an effective as well as powerful tool for manipulating the masses, capable of modifying the destinies of peoples.

The incredible potential of this tool has been understood for years by governments and interest movements all over the world: according to a study by researchers at Oxford University[1] , vast cyber armies are being used, especially by Middle Eastern governments, to conduct a propaganda war with the use of trolls, bots and fake social media accounts. In first place is the United Arab Emirates – an affair we have discussed many times[2] – which for years has been using all possible weapons of mass distraction, including sophisticated hacking techniques also with the support of US cyber-spies[3] , to discredit its most bitter enemies, Qatar[4] and the movements linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, or to make itself look like a heavenly country, wonderfully democratic and friendly to the West.

The result is a veritable disinformation industry in which the professionals of lies are all the rage. Abu Dhabi discovered this before anyone else, back in the late 1990s, and chose to rely on a Swiss intelligence agency whose head, an old businessman born in 1946[5] , is the progenitor of the category: his name is Mario Brero.

Like a ghost

ALP Services, the company that has been providing intelligence for clients worldwide for more than 30 years[6]

Before embarking on a career as an investigator, in 1986 Mario Brero exported computers and semiconductor manufacturing equipment from the United States to Europe: however, he was indicted by San Francisco magistrates for violating the laws against the export of American technologies of military interest to the Eastern Bloc: his were phantom buyers, used to conceal the real buyers[7] . Immediately afterwards, in 1989 in Geneva, he founded ALP Services SA, a company employing some twenty people – including computer engineers, geopolitical specialists and former police officers[8] – and officially specialised in ‘international investigations’, the fight against economic crime, asset investigations and economic intelligence; on its website, which is currently undergoing a restyling, it specifies that investigations are carried out with all the techniques typical of intelligence and ‘with the use of state-of-the-art computer tools’[9] . He is its president and his wife, Muriel Cavin, vice-president[10] .

He recounts that he was introduced to the new activity by Jules Kroll, the American business investigation veteran (who founded his business in 1972): Kroll is said to have convinced him to start as an investigator in the Geneva banking sector, although the latter says he has no memory of Brero[11] . The Swiss choice was a strategic one: in those years, Switzerland was already a lively hub for business intelligence activities[12] . Banking secrecy attracts large foreign companies and due diligence work is in great demand, to resolve disputes, control shareholders or defend against the same controls: work abounds, business is booming and in 2007, ALP Service incorporates a British company, Diligence SARL[13] , acquiring more clients and making its business even more profitable.

Although Brero presents himself as a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, documents indicate that he abandoned his studies after just one semester (the university refuses to discuss his academic curriculum)[14] ; in addition to a particular charisma and an appeal considered very reassuring by his clients, he has a reputation as a very private person: he is a ‘grave’, the kind of investigator who knows how to keep sensitive information to himself, but who knows well the art of knowing how to make his interlocutors talk[15] : Anne Lauvergeon, Areva’s manager from 2001 to 2011, with whom she had much to do, describes Mario Brero as a ‘barbouze’ (which in French means a ghost)[16] .

Mario Brero has been working in the shadows for several years, serving clients throughout Central Europe and Russia, although his activities seem to favour France, where he carries out numerous assignments, mainly with various groups listed on the French stock exchange in the services and energy sectors, but also for financiers such as Romain Zaleski, shareholder of the French multinational mining and metallurgical group Eramet[17] . Keeping a low profile is necessary, given the peculiarities of his activities, but it was France that gave him unpleasant visibility: in 2012 he was swept up in a scandal that forced him, in spite of himself, onto the front pages of the newspapers.

The AREVA scandal

Paris, March 2010: Anne Lauvergeon, former head of Areva[18]

In 2007 Areva.PA, the French multinational group (then 87% owned by the state[19] ) in the nuclear sector, with headquarters in Courbevoie, in a $2.5 billion deal acquired the start-up UraMin[20] , a mining company specialising in uranium exploration based in the Virgin Islands[21] . UraMIn, which was listed in June 2007 after the exceptional increase in demand for uranium and its consequent price increase the year before, boasts mining deposits in South Africa, Namibia and the Central African Republic with an estimated value of over 7,000 tonnes of uranium[22] : but the announcements turn out to be a bluff and Areva’s uranium demands remain unmet[23] . Moreover, in 2011, the price of uranium plummets and UraMin, already in difficulty, loses a large part of its value: the takeover operation for Areva turns out to be a total failure[24] .

The apparently unfortunate or ill-advised takeover operation fuelled suspicions of irregularities in the investigating bodies: in 2006, Olivier Fric, a consultant specialising in energy matters and husband of Anne Lauvergeon, Areva’s CEO, introduced as an intermediary in the operation his old friend Daniel Wouters, a former Belgian banker financially linked to James Mellon and Stephen Dattels, shareholders of UraMin, with whom Wouters negotiates in full conflict of interest[25] : their link is represented by the Luxembourg company Swala (formerly Arc Mining), founded in 2003 by Daniel Wouters: specialised in the exploration of gold mines, Swala has mining permits in Gabon, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo; James Mellon and Stephen Dattels are shareholders[26] .

The scandal begins to claim its first victims, Anne Lauvergeon is fired, the investigation uncovers a Pandora’s box of insider trading, corruption and money laundering: Anne Luvergeon is anonymously handed a 43-page report, called ‘Pomerol 4’, produced by ALP Services, describing the espionage activities carried out against her husband Olivier Fric to investigate whether he personally benefited from the agreement with UraMin: it is strictly confidential information illegally gathered at the tax office, in three telephone companies, in hotels and administrative offices. The investigations reveal that ALP Services was hired by Areva’s head of mining, Sebastien de Montessus[27] , with the aim of shedding light on the affair, while Anne Luvergeon claims it was a conspiracy for which the then President Nicolas Sarkozy was also responsible[28] .

The report mentions an initial budget of €50,000 for carrying out an ‘exhaustive due diligence of any person, physical or legal, involved in or suspected of having played a role in and benefited illegitimately from Areva’s acquisition of UraMin’, then the various fees for the four missions that the ALP Service was to carry out: the first concerns a ‘strategic oversight of Areva’s mining activities’, for a budget of €40,000 to €50,000 per month; the second concerns ‘preventive monitoring and infiltration’ of non-governmental organisations, from €40,000 to €60,000 per month, for an amount of €120,000 to €160,000; the third mission concerns Trade Tech and The Ux Consulting Company, two consultancy firms specialising in uranium prices; the last mission concerns Kazatomprom, Areva’s Kazakh partner[29] .

The investigation continued for years and involved many people in various capacities, some of whom were also mentioned in the ‘Pomerol 4’ report[30] . In 2019, Anne Lauvergeon, along with Gérard Arbola (deputy CEO of the Areva Group), Alain-Pierre Raynaud (financial director of Areva[31] ) and Thierry Noircler (former head of group audit), are indicted for “obstruction”, “dissemination of misleading information” and “presentation of untruthful accounts”[32] . Mario Brero is indicted by the Public Prosecutor for complicity, concealment and breach of professional secrecy. He himself admits to having committed ‘a few violations’ by obtaining confidential information through the complicity of people whose names he does not reveal: ‘When several billion euro of taxpayers’ money is at stake, perhaps we allow ourselves a few minor deviations’[33] .

The following were arrested: the investigating officer Andre Nicolet (of Iris Label in Lausanne)[34] , three employees of the telephone operators Swisscom, Orange and Sunrise, who had allegedly illegally provided Brero with detailed bills for the call traffic on Olivier Fric’s mobile phone[35] . At the end of one of the proceedings, in July 2014, the French court imposed a symbolic fine on Brero[36] , but it nevertheless cost him his reputation, a fact that alienated private clients, banks and large investigation companies, such as Kroll, from him. Yet more than a defeat, the affair seems to represent a turning point that will change the face of his new clientele forever: new clients arrive such as oligarchs from the former Soviet Union, politicians and businessmen from small African states, sheiks and tycoons from the Middle East, people for whom Brero’s tarnished reputation is certainly not an obstacle[37] .

Its reach extends to Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Congo, Nigeria, Gabon, Monaco, Angola, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia; Among its clients are high-profile names such as Hollywood director Bryan Singer, French fashion magnate Bernard Arnault, Israeli mining baron Beny Steinmetz, and then Kazakhstan’s Bulat Utemuratov, Russians Oleg Deripaska, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Vladimir Smirnov[38] , Gennadi Timtchenko[39] . His activities took on a different face: from pure investigation to the dissemination of propaganda campaigns, and even to commissioned defamation campaigns. By the way: the Areva-UraMin court dispute, between appeals and adjournments, is still ongoing[40] .

Rybolovlev and the bad ‘Bouvier Affair’

Mark Rothko’s artwork No.6 (Violet, Green and Red) that Bouvier bought for €80 million and sold for €140 million to Rybolovlev: one of many inflated transactions[41]

It is 2015: after the Areva affair blizzard, Mario Brero tries to keep a ‘low’ profile, but doesn’t get it: ALP Service once again ends up in the headlines. The actors in the affair are Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier and Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. The two have had a long business relationship (at least CHF 2 billion[42] ): from 2003 to 2014, the Russian bought paintings by Van Gogh, Modigliani and Klimt – all works of art that Bouvier unscrupulously resold at inflated prices, earning stellar sums: according to Rybolovlev, Bouvier pocketed at least USD 1 billion during these years[43] , until Rybolovlev realised he had been swindled and denounced him[44] .

At 10 a.m. on 25 February 2015, Yves Bouvier is arrested by the Monte Carlo police; the same morning, the lawyer Alexandre Camoletti, Bouvier’s friend and partner, contacts Mario Brero: he needs an urgent counteroffensive to destroy Rybolovlev. Brero knows Yves Bouvier very well and is a friend of his; he has worked for him several times since the late 1990s. He also knows the Russian oligarch well, whom he has already investigated on behalf of the lawyer Marc Bonnant (involved in both the scandal over the death of the Jewish banker Edmond Safra and the scandal over covert financing to Osama Bin Laden[45] ) in the case of the Russian’s divorce with Elena Rybolovleva, considered the most expensive divorce in history: the oligarch was forced to pay his ex-wife as much as USD 4.5 billion[46] . However, Brero is frightened: the limelight he experienced with Areva has scarred him, getting back to work on another case that already occupies the headlines is a very high risk, but Yves Bouvier is a friend and cannot say no to him[47] .

An elaborate legal machinery is set up to obtain Bouvier’s release on payment of a €10 million bail, but the large staff of 27 prominent lawyers demand fees ranging from 700 to 1,000 Swiss francs per hour: a meeting at the Hotel Beau-Rivage in Geneva on 13-14 January 2015 with 25 of Yves Bouvier’s 27 legal representatives alone, between travel expenses and participants’ fees, comes to cost almost a million francs. Bouvier is surrounded by leeches which, combined with the ferocious legal attacks launched by Rybolovlev’s offensive, which result in the freezing of all his assets scattered around the world, will soon leave him on the breadline: it is Brero who has to take care of his debts[48] .

The spy works diligently on the case, committing almost all of his agency’s time: the ALP Service’s fees, which include subcontractors, informers in Switzerland and abroad, private investigators, translators and drivers, plus the advances paid to Bouvier, cost about 6 million Swiss francs in a couple of years. For his part, Rybolovlev mounted an unbelievable counter-offensive, paying three major investigative agencies and other intelligence figures. The Geneva investigator responds by launching a heavy ‘media’ attack: between September and October 2016, he manages to get three long articles published in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, hostile to Dmitry Rybolovlev – articles covering his questionable lifestyle and his parties with Leonardo Di Caprio, his influence in Cyprus and Monaco, his past history in Perm (the murder of Evgeny Panteleymonov for which Rybolovlev is serving 11 months in prison before being acquitted), the collapse of his Berezniki mine[49] . The articles are translated and copied on many blogs and websites in different languages and gain great influence. In spring 2016, all of Yves Bouvier’s advisors, lawyers and consultants are hit by a large-scale cyber attack[50] . It is a bitter, no-holds-barred war.

Meanwhile, Bouvier, who is increasingly struggling to honour his fees, accumulates 2 million Swiss francs in debt to Brero and ALP Service begins to have serious liquidity problems: despite this, Brero decides to continue working for him, scaling back his activities, even though the persistent debt deteriorates their relationship – in 2017, a legal battle begins between them that lasts until October 2018, when the two reach an agreement[51] . In September 2021, Yves Bouvier is acquitted of charges of fraud, mismanagement, breach of trust and money laundering, but seeks $1 billion in damages from Rybolovlev. If Rybolovlev and Bouvier are annihilated, it is no better for Brero.

Investigating to defame: a lucrative business

Corinna Larsen, former lover of King Juan Carlos I, pays 130,000 francs to Mario Brero to destroy the reputation of the prosecutor investigating her[52]

In the following years, ALP Service only appears in a few agency releases, such as in the serious corruption case involving the oil giant Gunvor in Congo[53] , a case in which the agency investigates[54] . But the leaked facts suggest that investigative activities are gradually giving way to activities of a different, more lucrative nature: defamation for hire. As in the case of Corinna Larsen, the former mistress of King Juan Carlos I[55] ; or as in the case of the real estate developer Eric Arnoux, also the target along with his two daughters of defamation by the ALP Service – effect: reputation destroyed forever[56] .

All of these stories were made public in detail after ALP Service, on 29 March 2021, suffered a hack – possibly at the hands of an unfaithful employee – and several confidential documents contained on its servers were sent by email to some forty recipients, including the Franco-Swiss financier Olivier Couriol and the man whom Mario Brero himself describes as his ‘worst enemy’, Charles Poncet (one of the most famous Swiss lawyers, involved in the crack of the Banco Ambrosiano, in the investigation into the death of Roberto Calvi and indicted for extortion at the time of the P2 Lodge, in a situation where his brother Dominique was Licio Gelli’s lawyer[57] ), but above all to the prosecutor Yves Bertossa[58] . In the same leak of documents also appears evidence (an audio recording) of an attempted sale by Brero of a dossier by Yves Bouvier on the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, with the aim of organising a smear campaign[59] .

Some of these documents shed light on the case related to Corinna Larsen, who is at the centre of a money laundering investigation following a donation of 65 million received in 2012 from King Juan Carlos I himself, who in turn received it on 8 August 2008 as a donation from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance. She instructs ALP Service to investigate 14 businessmen friends of Juan Carlos I[60] . The assignment also includes carrying out personal investigations into Yves Bertossa, the Swiss prosecutor who has been investigating the alleged money laundering offence relating to the €65 million donation since 2018. The task assigned by Larsen to Brero is simple: to ‘ruin’ the prosecutor’s reputation, a task that Brero fulfils admirably. In the end, Larsen compliments the investigator on his excellent work and rewards him with the payment of 130,000 Swiss francs[61] .

The picture of Brero’s real activities is therefore increasingly clear: the final confirmation comes through a dossier published on 1 March 2023 in the French newspaper Mediapart[62] which reveals the existence of a powerful disinformation network operating in France by the United Arab Emirates. The lobbying activities by the Emirates and Qatar, in a kind of cold war for several years, are already well known[63] , for both their use of pressure groups, non-governmental organisations, political consultants, think-tanks and other less ‘soft’ strategies such as bribery has been widely described especially in the recent news, on the occasion of the ‘Qatargate’ scandal . [64]

Mediapart’s dossier highlights the heavy involvement of ALP Service to which is attributed the direction of a dense network of influential activities, directly supervised by the secret services of the Emirates; the documents mention the name – which Mediapart knows but does not reveal – of a high-ranking officer of the Abu Dhabi secret services and of his superior within the services, nicknamed ‘His Excellency the Boxer’, who in four years assigned to ALP Service at least three assignments worth a million euros, plus a fourth assignment rewarded with 1.2 million Swiss francs every six months, stellar figures: one of the contracts requires ALP Service to investigate Qatari ‘influence networks’ and ‘lobbyists, influencers and journalists’ in the European Union: the primary order is to cause as much media damage as possible to Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood[65] .

Destroy Hazim Nada

Hazim Nada, the businessman shot by the ALP Service at the behest of the United Arab Emirates for his alleged connection to the Muslim Brotherhood[66]

Hazim Nada is an American entrepreneur with a master’s degree in physics from Cambridge University, a doctorate in applied mathematics from Imperial College London and founder of the Lugano-based commodities trading company Lord Energy[67] , with a satellite office in Singapore, one in Houston and an annual turnover close to two billion dollars[68] . He is described as a serene man, satisfied with his success, a rare example of sobriety and propriety, dedicated to his family, his hobbies and sport; yet his life is about to change radically, ending up in a veritable Kafkaesque nightmare: his only fault is that he is the son of Youssef Nada, a successful Egyptian businessman who, in 1947, at the age of seventeen, joined the Muslim Brotherhood[69] .

Although Yussef never supported violence, over the years he was forced to pay a very high price for this affiliation: he served two years in prison after the coup d’état in Egypt in 1952 and, after fleeing to the United States to avoid persecution and having built his business fortune, around the 2000s he became the victim of a media war; the press, holding documents prepared by the American federal authorities, came to define him as “one of the main financiers of terrorist networks worldwide”[70] . In 2004, the United Nations put him on the list of terrorists, accusing him of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and of having financed Al-Qaeda and the attacks of 11 September 2001 with his Bank Al-Taqwa, and President Hosni Mubarak also accused him of financing terrorist organisations with 100 million dollars[71] .

Switzerland forces him under house arrest in Campione d’Italia, where he lives, his assets are frozen and, as a wealthy businessman, he soon ends up on the breadline[72] . For years he struggled for rehabilitation until, in 2008, he was removed from the terrorist list by the United Nations[73] . A few years later, those who wanted his downfall attempt to destroy his son, Hazim, but this time the name of the perpetrator comes to light: it is Mario Brero with his ALP Service, by now a recognised media hitman’s workshop[74] .

As early as 2008, when he started his business, Hazim was forced to engage in gruelling negotiations with banks to convince them of his company’s total unconnectedness with his father[75] , but it was in 2017 that he began to realise that he was the focus of suspicious attention, receiving strange messages on his mobile phone and phone calls from fake bank advisors asking for details about his financial situation. Around that time, journalist Sylvain Besson published an article claiming that Lord Energy was a front company for the Muslim Brotherhood[76] ; Wikipedia, in its description of ‘Lord Energy’, reports alleged links to terrorism[77] .

The artistic Mihrab (prayer hall) of the Munich mosque, built with funds raised by Youssef Nada and a group of entrepreneurs linked to the Muslim Brotherhood over half a century ago[78]

In 2018, Hazim Nada and his company are placed in the risk category ‘Terrorism’ in the World-Check database, several banks refuse to grant loans to Lord Energy, UBS closes his bank account along with that of his mother. Hazim discovers the truth thanks to a group of hackers who give him information stolen from the ALP Service, where everything is documented: this is the investigative agency that is in charge of harming him, the objective is to paralyse Lord Energy, to put pressure on no one to do business with the company any more, to destroy Hazim Nada[79] .

One wonders why investigative agencies, journalists, writers, academics go to such lengths to target almost unknown people: Hazim Nada is considered an ‘extension’ of his father, i.e. a historically relevant friend of the Muslim Brotherhood[80] . The truth is that no matter what the real identity of a target is, it is invented. There is a dense network of enforcers who make good money (just to hit Hazim Nada Brero receives 200,000 euros monthly[81] ): the principals, the United Arab Emirates and, according to revelations, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan himself[82] , are willing to pay millions of euros to make the West believe that they are the ‘good’ Muslims, and that the bad guys are the Qataris and the Muslim Brotherhood[83] . Hazim Nada claims to have lost over a hundred million dollars due to the attacks, without taking into account “the millions he could have earned during the boom years of the oil business in 2020 and 2021”[84] . Today, Hazim, the co-founder and president of AEHRA[85] , an Italian manufacturer of high-end electric vehicles, is stubbornly back on track.

All the men of Mario Brero

Dubai, 3 December 2021: Emmanuel Macron and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan[86]

The blockade imposed by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar is formally dissolved with the 2021 Gulf Cooperation Council summit[87] , sealed by the visit of Emirati President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Qatar, who meets with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani[88] . The meeting was cordial and promised, after years of tension, the strengthening of bilateral relations, although some crucial issues remain unresolved: Qatar continues to maintain close ties with Iran and proximity to the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation that the UAE considers terrorist[89] . But while the Emirates in the eyes of the world show a rapprochement with Qatar, through the ALP Service they use all possible means to strike at it: hacking, publication in all kinds of channels, from newspapers to social media, of defamatory articles directed against Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood network in France, using fake accounts[90] .

ALP Service has key collaborators such as Lorenzo Vidino, director of the programme on religious extremism at George Washington University[91] , an Italian-American who dedicates his life to trying to convince the world that the Palestinians and their allies are part of a gigantic plot to overthrow the Christian world[92] . The researcher signed a contract with Mario Brero in 2018 for several thousand euros[93] : Vidino, interviewed on the subject, claims not to know at all what ALP Service does with his research provided[94] . Yet the campaign against Islamic Relief Worldwide, a major international charity, is inspired by Vidino himself: Brero attempts to link Heshmat Khalifa – a board member of IRW – to terrorism because of his work with an Egyptian aid organisation in Bosnia during the 1990s[95] .

In April 2023, a number of professors at George Washington University, including Hilary Matfess and Cynthia Miller-Idriss, decided to withdraw their collaboration with the extremism programme[96] because they realised that Vidino was the author of serious ethical violations: The defections come after the revelation by the New Yorker[97] – which confirms the report published by Mediapart – that Lorenzo Vidino is paid by Mario Brero’s ALP Service to carry out defamation activities against the Muslim Brotherhood organisation[98] .

The documents reveal another, to say the least, ambiguous collaborator, the French journalist Roland Jacquard[99] , who presents himself, thanks to his vaunted role as President of the International Terrorism Observatory, as an ‘expert’ on Islamist radicalism: in reality, the Observatory, of which the only member is the journalist himself, is, according to Le Monde, ‘without publications, without a website, without a postal address and without any legal existence’[100] – it practically does not exist. Jacquard has a past studded with bombastic scoops, most of which later turned out to be embarrassing bluffs, but despite this, he enjoys important political, military and diplomatic relationships: He is the hook between Mario Brero and the United Arab Emirates, but also for other missions in Angola or Monaco; despite the fact that Jacquard has for years been widely recognised as a serial braggart[101] , ALP Service nevertheless stumbles over the inconsistency of this individual, paying him handsomely for sensational blunders passed off by him as valuable information and then revealed to be embarrassing lies[102] .

Alexandre Benalla, President Macron’s former deputy head of cabinet, has also been working with Brero since 2018, but denies ever receiving any remuneration. Claiming to do all this ‘out of friendship’, he has great words of appreciation for Brero: ‘He is a very charming, charismatic, professional person […] This remains the pope, the reference, in continental Europe’[103] . Benalla is involved in the case of the violence on 1 May 2018 in Paris in the Place de la Contrescarpe[104] and at the Jardin des Plantes[105] , he is accused of no less than 12 offences ranging from “intentional violence in assembly” to “unlawful interference in the exercise of a public function”, passing by “carrying a weapon” illegally and “counterfeiting and use of forgery”: he faces seven years in prison[106] . The trial against him is still in progress[107] .

From left: Christian Chesnot, Abdelrahim Ali, Georges Malbrunot – the three media killers hired by ALP Services to discredit Qatar[108]

Benalla claims to work in the Swiss-based World Organisation for Resilience and Crisis Management (OMRGC), what he believes to be an NGO, but which in reality is a mysterious network in which characters such as one Grégory M., a former police officer of the Security Group of the President of the Republic (GSPR) under Nicolas Sarkozy and then under François Hollande; Grégory M. has a three-year prison sentence for theft by deception, burglary and aggravated housebreaking, fraudulent alteration of data contained in an automated processing system and unauthorised possession of devices for the interception of communications for remote sensing of conversations[109] .

General secretary and treasurer of the OMRGC is Yacine Y. who, together with Grégory M., is mobilised by Benalla in the summer of 2021 to ensure the protection of the UAE ambassador to Paris, Hend al-Otaiba, and her family; Hend al-Otaiba is the sister of Youssef al-Otaiba, ambassador to the United States since 2008, who was implicated in the judicial investigation into the relations of Emirati officials with Donald Trump’s entourage[110] . Also included in Benalla’s team is Reynald C., a former security agent of La République en Marche (LREM) who formerly worked to provide security for the Russian oligarch Iskandar Makhmoudov, and whose contract of engagement, negotiated by Macron, ended up at the centre of an investigation for alleged acts of corruption[111] .

The flourishing market of Islamophobia

Islamophobia, a phenomenon that has been on the rise for the last twenty years, around which a flourishing industry revolves and which fosters it: ALP Service is its most important player[112]

Towards the end of 2019, Brero has more than fifty European targets on his agenda and, between 21 August 2017 and June 2020, he collects at least EUR 5.7 million from the Emirates to hit them[113] : the ALP Service is an unstoppable war machine. The well-established pattern sees victims fall victim to an almost always invented past, as in the case of Kamel Jendoubi, an admired Franco-Tunisian human rights lawyer who spent 17 years in exile as an opponent of the dictatorship in Tunisia: Brero, for EUR 150,000, publicly turns him into a tool of Qatar, a failed businessman and, of course, linked to terrorism[114] .

Another victim is a former French police officer, Sihem Souid, a lobbyist working on behalf of Qatar who claims that she too has been subjected to espionage, defamation and hacking: in April 2023, she filed a complaint with the Parisian prosecutors and, although it is against unknown persons, she does not fail in her statements to explicitly target the Emirati government and ALP Services[115] . Money and power make this network of influence difficult to target, to the extent that the perpetrators, both principals and perpetrators, seem to no longer even bother to hide their practices. Brero writes in an email: “We are mercenaries but we have our own ethics and only work with clients who share our values”[116] .

It is a phrase that sounds grandiose, and is nothing but yet another lie. Ethics is the totality of human beings’ behaviour that conforms to an initial principle that, in the history of humanity, is always justified by its proximity to divinity or, in its absence, to what is perceptually ‘useful’ and ‘just’ for the community. The 20th century effectively showed everyone that truthfulness, a fundamental characteristic of all ethics, is demonstrable. From then on, especially after the publication of the writings of the philosopher John Locke, truth is no longer an act of faith, but the result of a search.

Relativism has challenged this definition. Before this, it was believed that only what was true worked and was useful. After Bolshevism and National Socialism, experience shows the opposite: if a lie is believed, it has the same effect in the short term as a truth. In post-Nazism, which continues to grow in society, an assertion is no longer evaluated according to truthfulness, but according to success. In a situation where success can be manipulated, horror and violence are mixed with the good and the just. That is where a dean like Brero lives: in the place of thought where mankind calls the opposite of ethical, and tries to make the vast majority of mankind believe it. In fact, no court even dares to stop him.



































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