UAE Behind Hacking Attacks on Qatars Media Aimed at Provoking Diplomatic Row

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 19, 2017

Qatar also rejects allegations it has supported terror groups.

Qatar has been ostracised by its neighbours since reports revealed its emir making comments praising Hamas and calling Iran an "Islamic power".

The Washington Post's story cited unnamed USA intelligence officials as saying newly-analysed information confirmed that on 23 May senior members of the UAE government had discussed a plan to hack Qatari state media sites.

The UAE embassy in Washington on Monday sent a series of tweets quoting its ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, denying the Washington Post report, which was published Sunday and, according to the paper, was based on information provided by unnamed United States intelligence officials. That story, the Washington Post said, was based on information by unnamed United States officials.

However, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the USA, has rubbished the report as false, claiming that the UAE had no role in the hacking of Qatar websites.

Speaking at a forum in London, Anwar Gargash also said the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar. The Qataris have been one of Hamas' primary outside supporters for years, its most significant source of outside funds and the base for its political leader, Khaled Meshaal, directly supporting a murderous Islamist group committed to destroying Israel. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours", Yousef al-Otaiba said in a statement. However, Qatar is yet to release details of its investigation into the cyberattack. Over the last two decades, bilateral pressure on Qatar has not yielded results.

"But with this new information - that certainly throws a wrench in these negotiations - it remains to be seen exactly where things will go".

Qatar's Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah hinted that his country could sue the Saudi-led bloc before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for compensations over the blockade imposed on the Gulf state.

"Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack", Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri, Qatar's attorney general, told reporters in the capital, Doha, on June 21. If anything, public positions are becoming more entrenched.

A state-run Iranian news agency has accused Saudi hackers of planting a fabricated news story on its Twitter account, as a crisis in the Gulf centered around Qatar deepens.

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