By The Intercept
In 2020, as then-President Donald Trump was busy touting the newly signed Abraham Accords as a historic peace agreement in the Middle East, his own Department of Homeland Security was warning that the agreement, far from ushering in peace, heightened the risk of terrorism, according to a document obtained by The Intercept under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Abraham Accords, which were spearheaded by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, are commonly described as normalizing relations and establishing formal diplomatic ties between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Israel. At its heart a business deal, the Abraham Accords facilitated financial investment between the countries, as well as military and surveillance cooperation. But in order to accomplish what had previously been considered nearly impossible, Kushner’s deal carved out the major question at issue: Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories. Striking a peace agreement that didn’t resolve that question would only inflame tensions, Homeland Security warned.
The document, dated October 19, 2020, is an intelligence assessment disseminated by the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis to other government agencies. Its title summarizes the short brief: “Terrorists’ Longstanding Grievances Very Likely Exacerbated by Israel’s Normalization of Relations with Two Gulf States.” Citing the example of the mass shooting by a Saudi military officer at a U.S. air base in Pensacola, Florida, in 2019, motivated by the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the report warned that the Abraham Accords normalization would almost certainly intensify terrorist grievances and could endanger people not just in the region but also in the U.S.
“We assess that US-based foreign terrorist organization (FTO) supporters’ existing grievances about the US Government’s Middle East foreign policy, such as viewing the United States as responsible for Israeli actions, will almost certainly be exacerbated by Israel’s normalization of relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” the assessment states.
The intelligence report’s warnings have renewed significance in light of President Joe Biden’s push for a version of the Abraham Accords on steroids — in…
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