Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is pictured as he speaks with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (not pictured) during a dinner at the Hotel de Matignon in Paris, France November 21, 2018. (Reuters/Lucas Barioulet)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the years after 9/11, former U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke warned Congress that the country needed more expansive spying powers to prevent another catastrophe. Five years after leaving government, he shopped the same idea to an enthusiastic partner: an Arab monarchy with deep pockets.

In 2008, Clarke went to work as a consultant guiding the United Arab Emirates as it created a cyber surveillance capability that would utilize top American intelligence contractors to help monitor threats against the tiny nation.

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(U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Barry Loo)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A team of former U.S. government intelligence operatives working for the United Arab Emirates hacked into the iPhones of activists, diplomats and rival foreign leaders with the help of a sophisticated spying tool called Karma, in a campaign that shows how potent cyber-weapons are proliferating beyond the world's superpowers and into the hands of smaller nations.

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