UAE arranged for hacking of Qatar govt sites, sparking diplomatic row

Cheryl Sanders
July 18, 2017

On Sunday, The Washington Post cited anonymous United States intelligence officials who claim to have evidence that UAE leaders were behind the breach which occurred at the end of May.

The false statements were posted on Qatar News Agency's website and social media on 24 May, which sparked a diplomatic and economic blockade of Doha by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt after accusations that Qatar was supporting "terrorist groups".

The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had been quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an "Islamic power", the Post reported.

A report by The Washington Post on Sunday cited unnamed USA intelligence officials as saying that senior Emirati government officials discussed the plan on May 23.

The UAE's government has denied any involvement in the hacking but the allegations from a respected newspaper with impeccable intelligence sources spell trouble for the coalition against Qatar.

Dr Gargash denied outright the Washington Post claim that the UAE had carried out a hack of Qatari media in which its emir was quoted pledging support for Iran.

"What is true is Qatar's behaviour".

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, speaks at an event at Chatham House in London, Britain July 17, 2017.

The United States has recently increased its role in finding resolution to the regional crisis by signing deal on countering terrorism funding with Qatar during U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to a number of Arab states.

Gargash told the BBC that Qatar's denial had been contradicted by its agreement to review a list of 59 individuals and 12 organisations who the UAE has accused of supporting terrorism and wants arrested or expelled.

Qatar rejected the demands, insisting that the list was so draconian that it was created to be turned down.

What we are seeing is that Qatar's two strongest supporters in the Gulf crisis in Iran and Turkey are unlikely to be able to maintain their positions in the longer term. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", he said in the statement.

"But we can not have a member who is undermining us and supporting extremism", Gargash said during a speech at the Chatham House worldwide affairs think tank in London. Qatar claimed their sites had been hacked, but the false report became the pretext to start the Saudi-led campaign.

Other reports by iNewsToday