“During the eight years that (Dahlan) ran one of Arafat’s 14 or 15 security organisations Gaza was known as Dahlanistan,” wrote Edward Said, the influential Palestine-born thinker in 2003.
This simplistic and apt description of Mohammed Dahlan as it relates the byzantine world of the Middle East peace process made little impact but it perfectly captured a man who was to parlay his connections and skills into becoming a major player on the world stage. Dahlan was able to take his role as enforcer and spy inside the occupied areas and expand on it to serve many masters.
Dahlanistan is an apt term to describe the region that Dahlan has penetrated and influenced since them. The region ranges from America to the Gulf across the Middle East to Europe to the Balkans and across the vast continent of Africa. Dahlan brings gifts, money, influence, charm and deals that expand his sponsor’s reach.
Mohammed Dahlan is a refugee-camp-born poor boy that had no remarkable future. But he became a key figure in Palestinian and world politics. He transitioned this role to maintain the UAE’s agenda, to play a constructive role in Israeli-Gulf alliance, to lead a web of illegal arms sales from the Balkans to Africa, to eliminate unofficially declared persona non grata and, at the same time, to finance several media outlets and NGOs. His activities stretch from Yemen to Libya, from Turkey to Egypt and from Switzerland to the US with the media seemingly still fixated on his potentially but unfulfilled influential position in both Israel and Palestinian territories. He has expanded his services to officially serving the United Arab Emirates’ interests as “security advisor” to keep the ruling family safe Not so much from rogues and assassins but from the democratization wave in the Arab world, aka Arab Spring, and to broaden the Nahyan’s family sphere of influence.
But what is this Dahlanistan? Who is Dahlan? Why is he so ambitious to be recorded as 21st century’s most notorious but also legally invisible man? Despite his obvious importance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) politics, his actions on behalf of UAE and notorious actions in several countries, the international media has not paid much attention to his activities outside of Palestinian politics. They have failed to map out his global ambitions and to lay out everything to paint a more complete picture. A few articles have attempted to explain his significance in politics, but almost all of them have confined the analyses to regional level.
For the first time, this webpage aims at providing a full portrait of Mohammed Dahlan through conducting in-depth investigation, analyzing his interviews, activities, proxies, and relations, and collecting all the relevant sources. While doing so, it avoids from biases and assumptions but installs a totally fact-based approach to him and his activities besides offering analyses for finding out reasons behind his decisions and actions in each country where he operates.
Welcome to Dahlanistan.
Mohammed Dahlan is the man with two faces in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He portrays himself to the media as a politician with a considerable impact of the future of Palestine. His history traces back to his early times in the PLO and senior position with leader Yasser Arafat, Dahlan maintains this historical timeline significance for Palestine, especially Gaza despite his exile, corruption trials and constant attacks from the opposing Hamas side.
Despite his actual history as a strongman and mercenary for foreign nations, he plays up his ties to Israel, Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to project the image of a charming patriot, who never misses an opportunity to help his homeland. He is often the bearer of gifts, whether it be vaccines or cash payments, Dahlan is careful to maintain his image as a facilitator of the humanitarian aid even without any official political position. That image plays better outside Gaza where Dahlan’s involvement in planning the Israeli-Arab normalization process included the abandonment of the two-state solution and the ignoring of Palestinian hopes, ignited hatred towards him. Depending on the pollster, Dahlan’s support can be as little as 10% as in this March 2021 survey by Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). Is Dahlan the next savior of Palestine? Not according to Palestinians.
His second face of Mohammed Dahlan is much darker. He is by all media accounts, one of the major forces behind the insidious and brutal extinguishment of hope not in just Palestine but across the entire of North Africa, Gulf and Middle East. Dahlan was explicitly tasked and paid to frustrate and end democracies created in the Arab Spring. From Tunisia to Egypt and from Libya to Yemen, he has been active in diminishing populist attempts to replace dictators with democratic mechanisms. His efforts are a direct result of the UAE’s policy and fears towards the spread of popular rule. Something the Abu Dhabi family calls “political Islam”. This tiny, natural resources-wealth kingdom has been prioritizing its archaic form of family dictatorship, knowing that any democratic evolution in the Middle East could bring an end to their grasp on oil revenue.
These two faces may be one and the same, since Hamas is very much political Islam and the financial and political influence targeted towards the Palestinians by the UAE is unusual in its duplicity. Dahlan may be the public face used to hide the real face.
The story of Mohammed Dahlan is not just about Palestine and how he has used his contacts and intelligence networks to expand into an international fixer. He is expanding beyond the Arab world towards Europe. By doing so he is also executing UAE foreign policy of quiet influence and frustrating democratic institutions.
Dahlan has long been investing on behalf of the UAE in the Balkans, both politically and economically. As seen in the chapters of Montenegro and Serbia, he has set up several companies in these countries, maintaining commercial activities through his close aides and family members. He has also acquired Montenegrin and Serbian citizenships thanks to his close ties with top politicians. At the same time, he has facilitated the entry of the UAE to the Balkan markets as investor in the real estate and agriculture sectors. The main resource of the Balkans are weapons, and some say criminal ventures like the movement of drugs that penetrate the heart of Europe. There is no linkage of Dahlan to drugs, but he has been methodically documented supervising the illegal purchase and movement of tons of weapons from the Balkans to the UAE clients in Africa.
Dahlan’s main priority has been to extend the influence and reach of his client, the Nahyan family. Specifically, into vulnerable regions where money can easily facilitate the needs of the UAE over the legal needs of the population. There are currently plans by the UAE and Russia to reshape the Balkans more to their liking after the long conflicts that created independent nations. The entry of the UAE into the banking, real estate, and political arena via Dahlan is a cheap way to ensure there are no unexpected problems in the constant attempt to remove democratic institutions beyond the Nahyan’s family initial concerns about “political Islam”. In order to help the UAE to achieve its targets in both the MENA and East Africa regions, Dahlan created a sequence of arms manufacture, shipment, delivery and storage which was enhanced into an air bridge using massive IL-76 cargo freighters to supply warring allies of the UAE. The links with politicians and state run arms manufacturers, brokers and shippers is optimal in the Balkans. A new center for UAE planned destabilizing of Europe, the MENA and Africa.
For the last two decades, the UAE has been investing in East African countries, signing billions of dollars-worth treaties, establishing military bases, mitigating intra-African conflicts, and sometimes fueling conflicts if needed. Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, and some other countries have attracted the UAE for both cultivating profits in agriculture sector and dominating the Red Sea militarily. In some cases, the starvation of governments like Somalia after funds were seized, and feeding breakaway serves the same purpose: Regional control and pliable governments.
Mohammed Dahlan has been the UAE’s invisible hand in East Africa, meeting top diplomats, politicians, and businessmen under the pretense of negotiating things like the GERD Dam but actually operating as an advance man for the hiring of mercenaries, moving money to officials and smoothing over problems. While persuading these countries to cooperate with the UAE, he has also led to their normalization with Israel. He was responsible with finding solutions to the conflicts that are unwanted by the UAE and creating conflicts as in Libya. When two countries in which the UAE invests, gets into conflict, as seen in the case of Sudan-Ethiopia or Egypt-Ethiopia, Dahlan steps in as a mediator to calm the parties. When a democratic government is being forged in wounding nations like Libya, Dahlan again steps in to prime the players and cut deals
In the West, Dahlan is primarily known as a Palestinian with a political future in Gaza, but he uses this image to fund NGO that support minorities and democratic voices. The plight of the Palestinians is quite popular in America and Europe. Their need for political representation and the number of diaspora and other refugees is not a powerful entry tool into Northern European and American left-wing circles but an ideal way to track dissident activity. A Dahlan-funded Palestinian run NGO called Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) was charged with money laundering millions of dollars. Much of their work was to observe elections.
On the surface Dahlan is a moderate Western friendly Palestinian politician who supports the co-existence with Israel and has a history of running security and intel apparatus inside Gaza to the benefit of outside nations. The assumption is that he would be democratically elected and prevent terrorist recruitment or attacks. An image and rhetoric very backable for Western countries that are fed up with spending billions on the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Beginning with the Oslo talks in 1993 Dahlan has established a solid reputation for deal making and trustworthiness with Americans and European countries to a degree that he has been seen in the meetings like World Economic Forum in Davos, in NATO and at Sorbonne University, to give a few examples. Dahlan is known as a deal maker, a fair practitioner and someone who pays his bills. Something that seems at odds with the destruction of Arab democracy on behalf of a family dictatorship.
Dahlan has been exploiting this good-will hoping that his track record of backing strong men, human rights abusers, and dictators will not stick. His NGOs in Norway and Switzerland were created to stand up for the rights of diaspora and combat radicalization, a highly buyable goal for the West. But legal investigation found that they were fronts to move and laundering foreign influence money. An array of reports and police investigation indicated that Dahlan’s NGOs were not solely working for public welfare and bridging the West and the Muslim world. Instead, they were used to serve Dahlan’s agenda in the undeveloped parts of the world. An ideal Trojan Horse.
The webpage talks about his early life in Gaza, imprisonment by Israel, first contacts with both Palestinian and Israeli officials, his exile to the UAE where he reached to the apogee of his career as businessman, media giant, money launderer, dissident eliminator and more. What we do know is that Dahlan has chosen the UAE as his main sponsor. He along with a small group of foreign-born fixers, promote protect and repair the Nahyan’s image and further their goals of preserving pliable, dictatorial perhaps even Orwellian forms of governments to promote their business and survival needs. This website was created to gather fairly and accurately Dahlan related activities and events to provide a fair portrait.
If you wish to submit any corrections, insight, documents, photos, videos, or factual material please contact [email protected]
Mohammed Dahlan was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp after his family was expelled from their hometown, Hamama, by Jewish settlers.
He joined the PLO, participated in the first intifada, and was arrested and deported by Israeli authorities.
Dahlan (left) became one of the young leaders in the Fatah Movement together with Abu Ali Shaheen (center) and Marwan Barghouti (right). Dahlan told reporter David Rose that he spent five years in Israeli jails.
Dahlan becomes a member of Palestinian delegation during the US-brokered peace talks with Israel. “Yes, I was close to Bill Clinton” Dahlan is reported as saying. “I met Clinton many times.”
Following his return to Gaza, he established the Palestinian Preventive Security Organization to combat terrorism
Dahlan was accused with transferring taxes, collected at the Karni cross to his personal account.
Dahlan meets with U.S. President George Bush and U.S. officials at least three times in an attempt to broker a Palestinian state. Bush praised Dahlan as “a good solid leader.” in public and privately as “our guy.” The US agrees to secretly funnel $1.27 billion over five years to Dahlan’s Fatah to start a civil war and depose Hamas.
Hamas wins the elections in Gaza and Dahlan’s one-man rule in the tiny enclave comes to an end. He moves to Ramallah. Dahlan sets himself as the nemesis of his former boss Abbas
The botched attempt to drive out Hamas led by Dahlan results in Hamas taking over Gaza. When the secret U.S. plan is exposed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams will be accused of creating “Iran Contra 2.0”
Source: Almadenah News
Following a number of disputes with the Hamas Palestinian government and leader Mahmoud Abbas, corruption and coup accusations forced Dahlan to leave Palestine for the UAE.
Source: Balkan Insight
Dahlan (far right) became a special advisor to the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBz) (in black wool hat). Former U.S. official Elliott Abrams champions Dahlan’s allegations against Hamas’ corruption.
Dahlan is assigned by MBz to work on the ouster of newly elected Egyptian President Morsi and to begin removing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He works with the Egyptian military to plot of military coup led by then army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi
Source: Balkan Insight
Dahlan received Montenegrin citizenship at the request of the country’s prime minister.
Dahlan was granted Serbian citizenship together with his family members and close aides. Dahlan established close ties with Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić (left).
Source: Social Media
“I’m the hero, who ousted the Muslim Brotherhood,” Dahlan said, implying that he had a role in the military coup in Egypt and assisted Abdel Fattah el-Sissi (pictured above). The Sissi Leaks reveal that the UAE has funded Tamarod protests via a UAE fund controlled by Sissi aides Gen. Abbas Kamel and Gen. Sedky Sobhy.
Media reporting reveals that Dahlan is suspected of managing $30 billion in frozen Libyan assets in the UAE to support warlord Khalifa Haftar against the US and UN backed government in Tripoli. “Most of the money was sent through the Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan” The New Arab reported. The UAE then hires Wagner and ships tons of weapons from the Balkans organized by Dahlan.
Dahlan is tasked by the UAE to negotiate disputes in March between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia related to the GERD dam project. Dahlan is seen in a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Although the event is presented as a coup for Dahlan’s political skills, all three nations have been or will be involved in military acts or coups funded by the UAE.
Source: Buzzfeed News
Dahlan hires a targeted assassination team, including Americans as seen in the picture above (left to right: Isaac Gilmore, Mohammed Dahlan, and Abraham Golan) on behalf of the UAE to kill dissidents in Yemen.
A secret plan is hatched by the United Arab Emirates Egypt and Jordan along with Israel and Saudi Arabia to install Dahlan in Palestinian elections as speaker of the house to control the leader of the Palestinian Authority and to pave the way for the ouster of Hamas.
Source: Daily Mail
Dahlan appeared in a UAE held summit, held at the Four Seasons in Mahe, Seychelles, Attendees Mohammed bin Zayed, RDIF fund leader Kirill Dmitriev UAE intel head, Hamad al Mazroie, fixer George Nader, and American mercenary Erik Prince discuss the impact of the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States.
Source: Jfra News
Dahlan is accused of having a role in a coup attempt to overthrow Jordan’s King Abdullah II after Jordan would not join what was to become the Abraham Accords. There will be further unsuccessful attempts by the UAE to remove Abdullah and install Prince Hamza to create a homeland for Palestinians in Jordan.
Source: Belgrade City Government
Serbia announces the Dubai of the Balkans” a vast waterfront real estate development estimated to cost between 3 to 10 billion USD. The UAE also makes “strategic” investments and loans to bolster President Vucic’s profile. Much of the investment facilitated by Dahlan.
Dahlan visited Khartoum in May with Emirate officials to meet with the Sudanese military, according to an Al-Quds Al-Arabi report. Dahlan has been accused with helping a UAE-backed coup d’état in Sudan to oust Omar al-Bashir and replace him with General Abdelfattah Burhan. Although elections are promised, Dahlan continues to support the Sudanese General’s business interests.
Dahlan sent UAE-funded Russia-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines to Gaza.
Dahlan is described as one of the architects of the Abraham Accords and is a vocal critic of the same Israeli and dictator-friendly deal. The Israeli and Western betrayal of Palestinian interests is designed to support Dahlan’s return to local politics without a popular mandate much like the 2003 Oslo Accords.
Dahlan was banned from running in Palestine’s presidential elections that were supposed to be held in April 2021 for not having a clean record.
Dahlan allegedly helped Kaies Saed (pictured above) to impose a one-man rule in Tunisia and abolish the country’s democratic institutions. A secret coup plan hatched in April is leaked in which Saed would summon the government to the palace and place them under house arrest after announce himself as supreme ruler on television.
Source: Arab Observer
Dahlan and Abbas are invited separately to Russia in November as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovplays peacemaker in the Palestinian territories at the request of the UAE. Although Fatah member Dimitri Diliani told the media Dahlan was ready to reconcile, Dahlan later denied this.
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