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United Arab Emirates reportedly behind hacking of Qatari media that incited crisis

July 17, 2017

104568586-GettyImages-809192488.530x298Washington: The Qatari government news and social media sites were hacked by the United Arab Emirates in May in order to post false quotes, which thereafter stimulated the diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported, quoting US intelligence on Sunday.

It is not yet clear whether the UAE hacked the sites or contracted it to someone else, the officials said. On May 24, a report was published on the Qatari news agency, where Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, was quoted praising Hamas as he said that Iran was an “Islamic power,” the Washington Post said in its report. Subsequently, on June 5, Qatar was accused of supporting terrorism while the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with it.

The Government, soon after, posted several alerts about the website being hacked, an explanation which was rejected by the other Gulf countries.

The Washington Post, furthermore, explained that US intelligence officials learned that top UAE officials had planned to hack the website a day before it occurred – on May 23.

The UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, when asked about the hack, said that it was a ‘false report’, The Washington Post quoted him as saying.

“What is true is Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours,” UAE Ambassador said to The Washington Post.

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