UAE minister denies any hacking of Qatar

UAE minister

Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by USA intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The hack also involved the planting of damning false stories about Qatar's emir.

The hacking of Qatari media services in May saw the tiny Gulf state's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, quoted as praising Hamas and describing Iran as an "Islamic power". "The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true", he told the London-based think-tank Chatham House.

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.

Qatar's neighbours, led by UAE and Saudi Arabia, but also including Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Senegal and Mauritania, used the reports as a casus belli to ostracise Qatar diplomatically in a bid to force it to close the al Jazeera television news network amid claims that the emirate was a regional supporter of terrorist organisations. It continued: "What is true is Qatar's behaviour".

The Washington Post newspaper is reporting that new intelligence reveals the UAE government meeting to discuss the hacking plot and its execution on 23 May. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi.

The statement cited the government's communications director, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmad al-Thani, as saying it was "especially unfortunate that this shameful act of cyber terrorism is being attributed to a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council". The fake reports spread like wildfire across neighboring Gulf states.

Gargash's speech in London appeared to question Qatar's future in the GCC.

When asked whether Qatar's membership was at stake, Gargash did not answer directly and repeated his remarks.

Washington and Doha signed the agreement as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Qatar on a three-day tour of Gulf-Arab countries to try to end a month-long rift between Western-allied Arab states. President Donald Trump sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in June, posting a series of tweets backing the idea that Qatar supports extremist organizations.

They say Qatar has supported many radical groups.

Related:

Comments


Other news