On September 14, 2020, the U.S. Justice Department declared that the Al Jazeera Media Network—the international news organization based in Doha— “is an agent of the Government of Qatar” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. In a letter, Jay I. Bratt, the chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division, wrote: “Journalism designed to influence American perceptions of a domestic policy issue or a foreign nation’s activities or its leadership qualifies as ‘political activities’ under the statutory definition.” Since AJ+ acts “at the direction and control” of Qatar’s rulers, the DOJ ordered the network’s U.S.-based social media division, AJ+, to register as a foreign agent.
Sources: Marc Tracy and Lara Jakes, “U.S. Orders Al Jazeera Affiliate to Register as Foreign Agent,” New York Times, (September 15, 2020);
Dan Friedman,” The Trump Administration Orders an Al Jazeera Affiliate to Register as a Foreign Agent,” Mother Jones, (September 15, 2020).