US Intelligence Alleges UAE Hacked Qatari Government Sites Sparking Crisis

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

A CNN report titled, "US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis", citing anonymous USA officials, claimed that intelligence gathered as part of an FBI investigation into the hack indicated that unnamed Russian hackers could be behind the intrusion.

The incident helped spark a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its neighbours.

Gargash said the memorandum of understanding signed by the United States and Qatar on Tuesday on the financing of terrorism was a positive development.

Qatar said its emir had never given the speech, and that the story had been planted electronically, but its allies were outraged, and one of the most serious feuds in years between Western-aligned Gulf states began.

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to USA intelligence officials.

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

The false report provided the excuse for the Saudi-led bloc to ban Qatari media in their countries, and within two weeks of the alleged hack the effort to isolate Qatar was in full swing.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt responded by blocking Qatari media. Four Arab states claimed that economic boycott against Qatar will remain in place until the country changes its policies for the better.

Meanwhile, Qatar has pointed toward USA intelligence officials who revealed the UAE's involvement of being behind an alleged cyber-attack on Doha's state media, which set into motion the current diplomatic crisis. The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) declined to comment, according to the newspaper. What is true is Qatar's behavior.

"You can not be both our friend and a friend of al-Qaeda", he said, repeating allegations - denied by Qatar - that the country funds extremists. Similar statements were seen on the twitter feed of the news agency.

Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding last week with the USA on tackling the presence of designated terrorists and promised new measures on sending financing to blacklisted groups.

Other reports by iNewsToday