UAE Behind Qatar Media Hacking: US Intelligence

The Post says the UAE planted a false story that sparked the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries. reuters file

The Post says the UAE planted a false story that sparked the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries. reuters file

In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

On the following day, a story appeared on the Qatari News Agency's website quoting a speech by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he allegedly praised Iran and said Qatar has a good relationship with Israel.

The hacks took place a short time after Mr. Trump traveled to Saudi Arabia, hailing his talks with leaders in the region as a major success and re-committing the United States work to countering terrorism and cyber propaganda in the the Middle East.

Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir, an explanation rejected by Gulf states.

"The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true", Anwar Gargash, the UAE state minister for foreign affairs told the London-based think-tank Chatham House.

The Washington Post cited U.S. intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi. It added that the "crime" against its state news agency by a Gulf nation was a violation of global law.

The ambassador to UAE pronounced a news report asserting that UAE was responsible for hacking Qatari government sites "false".

USA investigators have been working in Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hack, according to Qatari and U.S. government officials.

The Washington Post reports that new intelligence reveals the UAE government met to discuss the hacking plot and its execution on 23 May.

"This is our message: You can not be part of a regional organization dedicated to strengthening mutual security and furthering mutual interests, and at the same time undermine that security and harm those interests".

USA spies accused the UAE of infiltrating the sites to plant fake news and provoke one of the worst diplomatic rifts in recent Middle East history. "They [the UAE] claim that basically their demands from Qatar are legitimate and they insist that they should be fulfilled nearly as a diktat instead of sitting at a table and negotiating some legitimate differences that they might have with Doha, and somehow, unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has followed suit", said Jahshan.

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