United States intelligence says Russian hackers set off Qatar diplomatic crisis

Andrew Cummings
June 7, 2017

Trump's messages contradicted Dana Shell Smith, the US ambassador to Qatar, who on Sunday retweeted an earlier post of hers crediting Qatar with making "real progress to counter terror financing". "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look", he tweeted. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

Russian Federation is meanwhile also suspected of meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

There was no immediate response for a request for comment on that demand from a Qatari official.

Last month, the website of Qatar's official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements falsely attributed to its emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani.

But Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman al-Than said there was "no evidence that the Qatar government is supporting radical Islamists".

Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, rejecting those "trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs". An Omani diplomat traveled to Qatar on Monday.

- US President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Saudi King Salman late on Tuesday US time and stressed the need for Gulf unity, a senior White House official said.

"This is no minor diplomatic spat", Breitbart News reported. "They are the cohorts of Zionists and finances of oppression and obscenity", the group said.

Adel al-Jubeir says he hopes Qatar can respond to demands put forward by his country, Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates and Egypt to "restore relations to how they were in the past".

UAE subjects may be punished by a jail term of up to 15 years for expressing sympathies for Qatar, the Emirati Attorney General warned after key Arab states cut ties with Doha.

Amman will also be revoking the license of Doha-based TV channel Al Jazeera.

Soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association has said it remains in regular contact with Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup. As the move to sever ties is stronger than the previous one, it would increase problems and difficulties of people in GCC countries especially in Qatar.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced that it would cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar, leading a collection of the oil-rich peninsula country's closest neighbors - Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen - in a regional economic shutout.

Qatar's neighbours have long accused the country of tolerating or even encouraging support for extremist groups, including al Qaida's Syria branch - all of which Qatar denies.

The Gulf countries have ordered their citizens out of Qatar and gave Qataris overseas 14 days to return home.

The rift sparked concerns among some nations not directly involved in the conflict whose citizens work in Qatar, such as the Philippines.

Other reports by iNewsToday