UAE yet to withdraw Qatar Airways licences

Cheryl Sanders
June 7, 2017

Qatar has denied the allegations.

Qatar, which hosts one of the biggest US military bases in the Middle East, is in the midst of the biggest diplomatic row to hit the Gulf in years after eight Arab nations severed ties over what they say is Qatar's support for terrorism, a claim Doha says is "baseless".

Moscow on Wednesday dismissed allegations that Russian hackers helped spark the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, after CNN reported that United States officials believed they planted a false news story.

"CNN and some other media sit and wait for any kind of automatically and without any evidence blame it on Russia or Russian hackers", he said at a news conference following his talks with Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis.

The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the investigation, CNN reports.

The CNN report late on June 6 cited unidentified US officials it said had been briefed on a probe by investigators sent to Qatar to help its government look into a hacking incident that produced the fake story.

Qatar Airways was ordered on Tuesday to close its offices in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, following coordinated action by four Arab nations to cut ties with Qatar.

Vladimir Putin on Tuesday spoke by telephone with the ruler of Qatar, urging dialogue to heal split between the Gulf state and other Arab countries. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said the allegations of Russian hacking weren't discussed.

A report by CNN says Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who analysed the content believe Russian hackers took control of the news agency, although it did not mention if the hackers were sponsored directly by the Russian government.

Separately, Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of parliament, on Wednesday dismissed the accusations as "an attempt to push the USA against Russian Federation as key players in the Middle East".

"The world has gone insane", Dzhabarov said. "Whatever happens it is hackers".

Other reports by iNewsToday