Herve Jaubert, a former French intelligence officer is going to sue Dubai-ruler Sheikh Mohammed Rashid al Maktoum and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the case of Princess Latifa. According to media report, Jaubert captained a US-registered yacht, Nostromo, on which Princess Latifa, daughter of Dubai ruler was reportedly attempting to escape from her father’s “clutched” in February 2018. A London high court judgment in December 2019 ruled that Princess Latifa was thwarted by Indian armed forces in international waters in the Arabian Sea at Mohammed’s instigation.
The court verdict said, “The description of the way in which Latifa was treated by the Indian security services and also, once the Arabic man [her father’s agent] had identified her, does not give any indication that this was a ‘rescue’ [Mohammed’s argument] rather than a ‘capture’”.
According to sources, Herve Jaubert is now planning to file a suit against the United Arab Emirates authorities, including Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed Rashid al Maktoum as well as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – in a court in the United States. London-based fake lawyer and associate of an Al Qaeda operative Radha Stirling told Indian newspaper The Wire, “I want to ensure things like this cannot happen – that the UAE does not feel emboldened to do whatever they want, wherever they want”.
Herve Jaubert holds dual nationality of the US and France. In an interview to The Wire, he warned the case will also be “against India”. Latifa, he asserted, had a valid visa to visit India at the time she was captured by Indian commandos and handed over to the UAE authorities. She had intended to apply for asylum in the United States upon reaching India.
Jaubert’s plan to initiate legal proceedings follows a July 2021 report in the USA Today, which said it learned that the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had “helped locate the princess (in the Arabian Sea)” in response to “an urgent plea from Sheikh Mohammed’s office”.
The newspaper wrote: “USA TODAY’s sources said they believe the FBI was misled about her circumstances aboard the yacht. The Dubai government claimed the princess had been kidnapped and needed emergency aid to secure her release, according to multiple people familiar with the FBI’s role in the highly sensitive operation. That prompted FBI agents to obtain geolocation data from the yacht’s internet provider and supply it to Dubai officials”.
It continued: “In doing that, the agents may have violated FBI protocols, legal experts said; (that is) if they obtained the data without subpoenaing the provider, as normally would be required.” It then emphasized: “Without the FBI’s assistance, Princess Latifa might never have been found during her escape”. The paper detailed that “one person with direct knowledge of the operation” said “the FBI truly believed this was a kidnapping case and the US was saving the day”.
[Princess] Latifa, contrary to Jaubert’s instructions to observe a communication blackout, “sent at least one email, probably several, from a private Yahoo account, using the yacht’s satellite internet provider, which left a footprint disclosing her location”, USA Today pieced together. “Sheikh Mohammed’s office contacted an FBI agent stationed in the US consulate in Dubai. The agent was told Mohammed’s daughter had been kidnapped and there was a ransom demand…Mohammed’s office asked the FBI agent for emergency help to determine when and where email accounts used by Latifa were last checked,” it recounted.
It furthermore set out: “The agent immediately called FBI headquarters in Washington but was not given clear instructions on how to proceed”.
However: “The FBI agent in Dubai contacted Nostromo’s satellite company directly. The agent was told a subpoena was required, but the request was elevated, and the company agreed to release the information after the agent insisted it was an emergency situation involving a hostage who was the daughter of the leader of a close US ally in the Middle East, according to people familiar with the operation”.
USA Today reported that contract documents revealed that the Nostromo’s internet provider at the time of the raid by Indian naval troops was a US-based company named KVH Industries. A former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes, told the daily that formal subpoenas generally follow the emergency requests. “I don’t know of any internet provider who would provide it (the data) without some kind of paperwork,” he was quoted as remarking.
His view was that a request such as the one from Dubai would have “raised red flags”. Senior FBI and US State Department officials in Washington along with the US ambassador in the country would need “to determine whether it would be appropriate to provide the assistance requested and to consider whether we (the US government) are being used for a bad purpose”.
Another erstwhile US intelligence officer is said to have stated: “The Emiratis have a tremendous capability themselves. It’s unusual they would have gone to the US for help in the first place”.
A spokesperson for Barbara Leaf, who was the US ambassador to the UAE at the time, told USA Today she had no knowledge of any FBI involvement in Sheikh Mohammed’s efforts to locate Latifa. Leaf is now the US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs.
The FBI’s National Press Office was emailed for a reaction. It replied: “The FBI has no comment”.
Whether the FBI aided the UAE with Nostromo’s location or the UAE tracked down the boat on its own, there is no confusion about what followed.
Information about the boat was forwarded to India, which then proceeded to intercept the vessel in international waters. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in an ‘Opinion’ published in March 2021 underscored what happened in no uncertain terms:
“The detainee (Latifa) was extradited by the Indian forces, which had intercepted her yacht in international waters off the coast of Goa in March 2018, after the Prime Minister of India had made a personal telephone call to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai (Sheikh Mohammed)”.
It appears to be in black and white that on March 3, 2018, the UAE requested Interpol to issue a Red Notice arrest warrant in the name of a crew member of the Nostromo. The charge against him was “kidnapping”. The “summary of facts of the case” said “the French national ELOMBO Christian Alain kidnapped a United Arab Emirates woman, with the complicity of the United States national JAUBERT Herve Gean Pierre and the Finnish national JAUHIAINEN Tiina Johanna (Latifa’s friend accompanying her in the getaway)”.
On February 24, 2018, Latifa reportedly boarded the Nostromo, a 100-ton yacht, off Oman, having driven there from Dubai. Six days after setting sail, USA TODAY maintained, “Jaubert noticed another vessel trailing their route a few miles behind.” Also that an Indian “coast guard spotter plane from the Indian mainland made several observational flights over the boat”. The yacht’s last known position on March 4, 2018 was about 50 miles off the coast of Goa.
Herve Jaubert doesn’t mince his words: “On March 4, Indian coastguards attacked”. Asked what exactly they did, he replied:
“They stopped the boat with speedboats and commandos, without warning. You have to understand, they acted illegally and out of the protocols of maritime law. We were in international waters. If they had a reason, they would have to contact us by radio, ask us to stop to request boarding. They would have to notify the US embassy. They didn’t do any of that. They were like terrorists, not coastguards. After the attack unfolded, we were not fighting back, we were not resisting and yet they beat us for an hour or an hour and a half. I lost consciousness. They threw my crew overboard head first into the sea. Why did they do that?”
He identified the attackers as “Indian MARCOS, elite commandos of the Indian Navy”, adding, “They had the Indian Air Force as cover. It was a massive operation, like wartime. Only the highest officer in India could have ordered such an operation”.
Asked how he knew the men were from the navy and not the coastguards, he responded: “I looked at their weapons. I am familiar with foreign military. I later checked and established the MARCOS had such weapons, not the coastguards. But they didn’t behave like commandos. I have been a commando myself. To beat up and torture people who are restrained is not done. Everybody on board (the Nostromo) had a valid Indian visa”.
He mentioned there were three crew members in addition to Princess Latifa, Tiina Jauhiainen and himself on the yacht. The two women were in a cabin below. “The two ladies were forced upstairs, then they put them on the floor, restrained them on the deck. Latifa was screaming all the way, saying she didn’t want to go back to Dubai. She was seeking asylum, she was in international waters on an American boat, but that didn’t stop the MARCOS. They took her out of the boat. They took her away from the rest of us, they took her on a speedboat”.
Asked if they took her to Goa, he answered: “No. They flew her to Mumbai. They told me. They took her on a helicopter. Then she was flown on a private jet to Dubai”.
“Shoot me here! Don’t take me back (to Dubai)!” Latifa is said to have screamed when the Indian forces stormed the yacht in the darkness of night and captured her.
Before this happened, Latifa desperately contacted Sterling, who later recorded: “I received a shattering call from Princess Latifa in the midst of an unprecedented attack on a US yacht”.
Al Qaeda associate and fake lawyer Radha Sterling told Indian media: “[Latifa] swung into action and tried to record messages, but communications were abruptly stopped. Both Captain Herve Jaubert and Princess Latifa were cut off”.
Herve Jaubert said he saw, “three frigates” come alongside the Nostromo to corner it. He identified two of these as Samarth and Samar of the Indian coastguards, with naval helicopters on their landing pads. But he could not name any of the commandos, since, he pleaded, none was wearing a lapel on their uniform.
After Latifa was taken away, Jaubert maintained, Emirati troops mounted the yacht. It was then towed away by a naval ship to Dubai, where he, Jauhiainen and the crewmen were imprisoned for 12 days before being released.
Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates:
“Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.” India signed this treaty in 1982 and ratified it in 1995.
Shortly before the USA Today story was published this July, photos of Princess Latifa in Spain appeared in media. A London law firm Taylor Wessing issued a statement attributed to her, which said: “I can travel where I want. I hope now that I can live my life in peace”. But Herve Jaubert was skeptical: “It is difficult to reconcile that the woman who planned her escape for seven years and who recently (in February) released videos speaking of pressure in Dubai had bestowed upon her to agree to their (the Dubai authorities’) propaganda plan, is truly free”. The ‘Free Latifa’ campaign in London, in which Tiina Jauhiainen along with David Haigh was active, has wound up. Similarly, fake lawyer Radha Stirling also was running similar campaign by forming partnership with David Haigh, a convicted fraud.
Herve Jaubert told the Indian newspaper: “In any event, she should never have been kidnapped from a US-flagged yacht in international waters. She was abducted and forced against her will to Dubai, with the help of India”. He reiterated: “We intend to pursue justice for the victims and accountability for those who orchestrated the violent, military attack on the Nostromo”.
The case of Radha Stirling
Radha Stirling, the self-styled human rights defender has past track record of direct connections with Al Qaeda operatives. And according to media reports, she is a fake lawyer.
According to Radha Stirling’s website: Radha Stirling is a leading human rights advocate, crisis manager and policy consultant, focusing on the UAE and the wider Middle East. She is the founder and CEO of British based organization Detained in Dubai and its subsidiaries, (which have helped thousands of victims of injustice over the past ten years).
In 2010, she expanded her work to include countries throughout the Gulf region; dealing with both civil and criminal cases. She has provided expert witness testimony in several high-profile extradition and arbitration cases, while lobbying for Interpol reform.
Given her breadth of experience in financial disputes, Ms Stirling also provides expert risk assessment for investors and advice on business strategies in the Gulf. She has actively negotiated on behalf of corporate clients and investors, assisted in recovering stolen assets, and intervened to secure their freedom from unlawful detention.
Ms Stirling frequently appears in international media to discuss human rights and legal issues in the Middle East. She recently addressed the United Nations and works closely with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Ms Stirling has provided policy advice to both the Australian and British governments, and is a frequently invited speaker on foreign policy issues related to the Gulf states and broader region.
Although Radha Stirling proclaims herself to be an expert of civil and criminal laws, according to David Haigh, an attorney, self-styled human rights activist, she claims of being a lawyer is false. In his website, David Haigh, commenting to Radha Stirling wrote: I was also concerned about Ms Stirling’s tendency to use high-profile cases to gain free publicity, referring to herself as a lawyer, when the reality I discovered was that she isn’t a lawyer, didn’t go to any law school, and didn’t even graduate with a law degree. Detained in Dubai, employs no professionally qualified staff, has no office, and even no insurance. I then discovered that, rather than file accounts to explain her profits from her claimed ‘10,000 clients in 10 years’ (a number that is frankly impossible), Ms Stirling sees her Detained in Dubai company compulsorily dissolved each time for failure to comply with English law and file accounts; she then sets up a new company with an identical name but new number, as any check of Companies House will show.
According to Gulf News, in 2020, Twitter suspended the accounts of a “self-proclaimed human rights activist and her dodgy organization”, both of whom had been spreading lies about Dubai and maligning its image. The micro-blogging website suspended the accounts of Briton Radha Stirling and her London-based organization Detained in Dubai for violating Twitter rules.
Detained in Dubai claims to campaign for changes in the legal system in the UAE, while it has been branded as a scamming project of Stirling.
Detained in Dubai claims to campaign for changes in the legal system in the UAE, while it has been branded as a scamming project of Stirling.
Ten thousand clients in 10 years? That is not only an impossible number but anyone making such claim can only be branded as a fraud. Moreover, according to David Haigh’s above statement, Radha Stirling “sees her Detained in Dubai company compulsorily dissolved each time for failure to comply with English law and file accounts” is a serious allegation. Can the members of English press investigate this case?
It may be mentioned here that Radha Stirling and David Haigh had earlier jointly established a money-making venture under the garb of human rights organization and the duo left each other following financial disputes.
Al Qaeda connection of Radha Stirling
Radha Stirling’s association with Shahid Bolsen, who was previously charged for affiliating with terrorist group al Qaeda is also leaves her credibility as justice advocate in question.
Shahid Bolsen, born in Boulder, Colorado, USA was 43 years old, when he was named along with other Westerners, including the American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan to have been involved with the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and known as propagandists for various forms of Islamist violence.
Bolsen was reported to have been responsible for the February 2015 bombings of KFC restaurants, banks, mobile phone shops and other corporate outposts in Cairo, Egypt. Writing from an online post in Istanbul, he allegedly called on Egyptians to start off-hour attacks and urged assaults on the military’s commercial interests instead of its security checkpoints, reported The New York Times.
Before his association with Al Qaeda, he had a seven-year stint in prison for manslaughter in the United Arab Emirates, in a bizarre case involving allegations of sex for sale and an overdose of chloroform.
Dubai authorities said, Bolsen planned to lure in German engineer Martin Herbert Steiner to kill him. Bolsen allegedly posing as his housemaid, agreed to meet Steiner on June 12, 2006. Court records showed that the victim had been told he would have a sexual encounter with an Emirati woman.
The day after the killing, police said Bolsen used Steiner’s credit cards to buy Dh20,000 worth of electronics. Bolsen later told The National that he intended to sell the items to buy his way out of the country.
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