UAE behind hacking of Qatari media, reason for Qatar diplomatic crisis

Cheryl Sanders
July 18, 2017

The Post said officials became aware of the UAE's role in the hack after newly analyzed information gathered by members of the US intelligence community revealed senior members of UAE's government discussed the plans and how to implement the attack.

Trump's Twitter diplomacy has complicated actual State Department efforts to resolve the crisis.

The agency claimed it had been hacked.

The report quoted two Qatari bankers as saying that the diplomatic crisis was "the main reason for the deal being postponed, as it had reduced banks' appetite for the transaction".

The controversy did not stop there.

Still, four Arab states - the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain - cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar and issued a list of 13 demands.

The quartet closed Qatar's only land border, banned planes from their airspace, and barred Qatari nationals from passing through its airports. "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.

The small but fabulously wealthy gulf kingdom is also regarded as too close to Iran, by its neighbours. However, Qatar has so far not come out with any such evidence. Previously, US media, citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, blamed the attack on "Russian hackers".

Trump, however, has firmly sided with Riyadh and its allies, calling Qatar a "high level" supporter of terrorism. It said in a statement Monday that the Post report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place".

"This criminal act represents a clear violation and breach of worldwide law and of the bilateral and collective agreements signed between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations", he said. The hacked emails allegedly reveal the UAE's efforts over the years to sway United States policymakers to its side of the dispute against Qatar.

A senior UAE official said on Monday that global monitoring was needed in the standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbors, adding he saw signs that the pressure exerted on Doha "was working".

Anwar Gargash, the UAE state minister for foreign affairs, warned Qatar "cannot be part of a regional organisation dedicated to strengthening mutual security and furthering mutual interest and at the same time undermine that security".

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