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Former WSJ Reporter Files Lobbying Registration For Exiled Sheik

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The Hill reports that an award-winning former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter filed for a lobbying registration to represent an exiled sheik for the United Arab Emirates.

Former reporter Glenn Simpson says he does not wish to lobby on behalf of Sheik Khalid bin Saqr al-Qasimi, but rather to investigate the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. Simpson filed on Oct. 2 through lobbying firm SNS Global, according to lobbying disclosure reports.The sheik believes the emirate's regime has links to terrorist groups and arms dealers, according to The Hill.

"Under a careful reading of the [Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)], research firms are obligated to register if their work is used in meetings with government officials," Simpson said in an email to The Hill. "We elected to file under LDA on the advice of our expert counsel; advisers to Sheik Khalid who perform different services filed under [the Foreign Agents Registration Act] on the advice of their own expert counsel."

Al-Qasimi, who was removed from office in 2003 but legally remains the crown prince, came to the United States after last year's election victory for President Obama. He has also launched a website to blog and post press releases.

Simpson has extensive experience investigating financial activities. He started at SNS in March with WSJ colleague Sue Schmidt, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the the activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.