United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

UAE alliance hacked Qatar

United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a Sunday report by The Washington Post.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge which Doha denies.

The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had been quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an "Islamic power", the Post reported.

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was "false", the Post said.

The report quotes unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.

If confirmed, a hack of QNA would be a striking example of a cyber attack shaping global politics.

Qatar said those reports were fabricated and posted by hackers, though it hasn't identified the source.

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The officials claimed it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.

"UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article".

"We need a regional solution and worldwide monitoring", said Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, in prepared remarks he was scheduled to deliver on Monday in London.

Qatari shopping mall operator Doha Festival City said it remained in discussions with banks to amend a $1 billion loan after bankers said a refinancing of the facility had been put on hold because of Qatar's diplomatic crisis.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his Kuwaiti counterpart that the sanctions were being maintained "in light of what the quartet states see as Qatar's stalling and procrastination, and lack of concern for the concerns of the four states".

Qatar has for years parlayed its enormous gas wealth and Al Jazeera's reach into broad influence in the region, and in 2011 supported "Arab Spring" revolts across the Middle East.

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