The Ideological War:Saudi Influence Operations in the United States
Polishing the Image of Saudi Arabia in the World
In 2002, a hastily organized group of NGOs which called itself “The Allianceof Peace and Justice”, including the ADC, Middle East Policy Council andothers, began running advertising in favor of the Saudi Peace plan andcondemning Israeli military action. As it turned out, the “Alliance” happenedto share the same address as Qorvis Communications. The ads were notproduced by these NGOs at all, but were produced by a political advertisingcompany called Sandler-Innocenzi. The Alliance paid Qorvis $700,000 for thead campaign. Where did an ad hoc task force of non-profits come up with$700,000? From a bridge loan from the Saudi Embassy. A loan which they did not have to pay back, since the Saudi spokesman Adel Al-Jubeir (now ambassador) agreed to fundraise in Saudi Arabia to find money to pay back the loan. The goal was to create the appearance of a grass roots coalition of concerned Americans, when in fact, the program was produced, sponsored and paid for by Saudi Arabia. This activity led to a raid by JusticeDepartment’s FARA office (Foreign Agents Registration Unit) against Qorvis, and Qorvis was required to amend several of its legal filings as a result.