The United Arab Emirates and its powerful ruler are facing a lawsuit in a Washington court, accused of financing a “dark public relations” operation that falsely linked an American oil trader to terrorist financing. The trader, Hazim Nada, filed the lawsuit in the District of Columbia, alleging that the UAE paid a Swiss private intelligence firm to damage his reputation and business in a smear campaign. The operation against Nada shines a light on the industry of “disinformation-for-hire” enterprises that spread false narratives on behalf of paying clients. Nada is seeking $2.77 billion in damages over the campaign that led to his commodities trading firm, Lord Energy, going bankrupt. The lawsuit also claims that the UAE and Alp Services, the Swiss firm, paid “journalists” and a professor to smear dozens of people, including Nada. The Swiss firm approached the UAE in 2017 to offer to defame Nada using “offensive viral communications” and sowing doubts about his company. The lawsuit alleges that the UAE had ultimate approval authority over the disinformation operations.