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UAE hacked Qatari media and planted story that sparked Gulf crisis: report

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani looks on during the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Doha on December 9, 2014
AFP
The UAE insists it 'had no role whatsoever' in the alleged cyber attack

The United Arab Emirates reportedly coordinated the hacking of a Qatari government news outlet in May and planted a false story that sparked the current diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Gulf nations.

A report by The Washington Post on Sunday cited unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior Emirati government officials discussed the plan on May 23. The next day a news story appeared on the Qatari News Agency’s website and Twitter feed attributing explosive remarks about the country's relationships with Iran and Israel to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The remarks covered sensitive political subjects such as Iran, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Israel and the United States.

They were quickly seized on by news organizations outside Qatar, but Doha said they were false and accused "neighboring countries" of a cyber attack. 

The subsequent inquiry into the alleged hack used investigators from the FBI.

The Emirati embassy in Washington responded to the report on Sunday, calling it "false" and insisting that the UAE  "had no role whatsoever" in the alleged hacking.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and other allies severed all links with Qatar over accusations that Doha supports extremism -- a claim it denies.

The Gulf nations have place several demands on Qatar including  ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing broadcaster Al-Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in the emirate.

The UAE has warned Qatar should take the demands seriously or face "divorce" from its Gulf neighbors.

Qatar refused to meet the demands last week on the grounds they undermined its national sovereignty. It has also categorically denied having any ties to extremist groups. 

(Staff with agencies)

Comments

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StopThisMadness

Screw qatar. They support the hamas terrorists. Move the US base out of there.

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