UAE Wants International Monitoring of Qatar

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 17, 2017

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 US intelligence officials.

The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, announced a diplomatic and transport blockade of Qatar at the beginning of June.

The comments prompted the Saudi-led bloc to ban all Qatari media before ultimately severing ties with Doha.

While there is similarly no verifiable proof in the Sunday report by Washington Post, it also cites a recent leak of the UAE's ambassador's emails, released by the GlobalLeaks hacking group.

It was not clear whether the UAE hacked the Qatari sites itself or paid another entity to do so, the Post added.

Qatari government spokesperson Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani said at the time the postings were false and the result of a hack by an "unknown entity".

According to the Washington Post, the UAE had arranged hacking of Qatar's news and social media channels with fiery posts and false statements to discredit the former's emir in May.

Still, the four Arab powers have said the memorandum fell short of allaying their concerns that their sanctions would remain in place until Doha meets their demands and that they would keep a close eye on Qatar's efforts to fight terrorism funding.

"The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true", Anwar Gargash told London-based think tank Chatham House on Monday.

Qatar's antagonists accuse it of supporting terrorism and giving a home to extremists inciting violence and radicalisation. His visit had yielded little except for a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Qatar to fight "terrorism".

"What we know now is that Qatar is admitting that the list is worthy, that the list needs to be looked at, and that they need to change some of their laws to ensure that there is a proper process to cover this list", he said.

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

Gargash said the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or Qatar.

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