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

Elias Hubbard
July 17, 2017

"What is true is Qatar's behavior".

The officials were not identified in the Post's report.

Anonymous US intelligence officials reportedly told the Washington Post that "newly analyzed information gathered by US intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation".

Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed sanctions on Doha on June 5, including closing its only land border, denying Qatar access to their airspace and ordering their citizens back from the emirate. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi.

Speaking at the Chatham House global affairs think tank in London, Gargash repeated claims - denied by Qatar - that the country funds extremists.

But Qatar said that the Washington Post report proved its version of events, that its websites were hacked and that quotes were fabricated and published.

On May 24, two day after USA president Donald Trump's visit to Riyadh for a summit with leaders from the GCC and dozens of other Muslim-majority countries, Qatar News Agency carried on its website and a ticker on an online video incendiary quotes attributed to Sheikh Tamim, the emir of Qatar, including a denunciation of the summit and praise for Iran and Hamas. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said he had been informed by the FBI Russia had not carried out the hack.

It described the alleged hacking as a violation of global law and of agreements between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - the regional trade and security group - as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations.

"This is our message: You can not be part of a regional organization dedicated to strengthening mutual security and furthering mutual interests, and at the same time undermine that security and harm those interests".

They say Qatar has supported many radical groups.

The list included the closure of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, the dismantling of a Turkish military bas on Qatar soil, a cooling of relations with Iran and the cessation of any financial support for terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda and ISIS. Qatar and many in the worldwide community, including ally to both sides, the U.S., openly wondered if the real motivation behind the blockade was indeed a concern for global security or simply a way to deal with old sources of tension between the countries.

The US State Department declined comment in response to a Reuters query.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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