At least nine ex-employees of the NSA and U.S. military helped the United Arab Emirates spy on journalists from Al Jazeera and the BBC in 2017 in an attempt to undercut Qatar, Reuters reports Monday. Reuters alleges that the American operatives worked for Project Raven, an intelligence mission originally designed to fight terrorism that was expanded to spy on all the UAE’s opponents. After the UAE severed ties with Qatar in June 2017, Project Raven hackers allegedly attempted to break into the iPhones of 10 prominent journalists, in an effort to prove that either Qatar’s government or the Muslim Brotherhood was influencing media coverage. Targets allegedly included the chairman of Al Jazeera and a Beirut-based BBC reporter. The former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, a U.S. ally, told Reuters that she found the report alarming. “Folks with these skill sets should not be able to knowingly or unknowingly undermine U.S. interests or contradict U.S. values,” she said.