Thursday, 27 July, 2017

UAE Rejects Reports That it Hacked Qatar

Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir
Melissa Porter | 18 July, 2017, 03:26

The UAE has denied the hacking claims in a statement released in Washington by its ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gadhafi.

The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post false quotes linked to Qatar's emir, prompting the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing U.S. intelligence officials.

The Washington Post reported that recently analysed evidence obtained by United States intelligence agencies confirms that on 23 May senior UAE government officials discussed hacking Qatari sites.

The Post gave no further details of how American intelligence had reached its conclusion, but it had previously been alleged that some of the boycotting countries could be behind a hack of the Qatar news agency.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, cutting diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with Persian Gulf Arab states arch-foe Iran.

Qatar is in the midst of a diplomatic rift with its neighbours.

The falsified news report which surfaced in late May quoting Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as praising Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Israel was a sign of the row that was to erupt two weeks later: the quotes were met with a particular storm of criticism by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which in retaliation blocked Qatari-owned al-Jazeera from broadcasting.

Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified".

Le Drian's visit comes after a four-day mediation mission by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, which ended on Thursday with no announcement of progress towards defusing mounting tension in the Gulf.

Dr Al Kitbi said this media campaign is funded by Qatar and meant to divert the attention from its support and funding of terrorist and terrorism. Later, it blamed the UAE for the planted story - an allegation backed up by the USA intelligence sources quoted in the Washington Post on Sunday. "Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack", Qatari government's attorney general Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri said in a statement last month.

The report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place", it added.