The Trump administration has designated a U.S-based affiliate of Al Jazeera to be a foreign agent of the government of Qatar, a move that will require the media outlet to register its activities with the Justice Department.
In a letter obtained by Mother Jones, a Justice Department national security official informed AJ+ that it will have to disclose its activities to the U.S. government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
AJ+ and Al Jazeera, which is based in Doha, operate “at the direction and control” of the Qatari government, Jay Bratt, the chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section, informed the outlets on Monday, according to Mother Jones.
“Despite assertions of editorial independence and freedom of expression, Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates are controlled and funded by the Government of Qatar,” Bratt said in his letter, which was also obtained by The New York Times.
FARA was passed in 1938 in order to track the German Nazi Party’s propaganda efforts. The Trump administration has beefed up enforcement of the law by requiring multiple news outlets owned by foreign governments to register as foreign agents. The administration has required RT, which