UAE arranged hacking of Qatari media: Washington Post

UAE arranged hacking of Qatari media: Washington Post. The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post false quotes linked to Qatar's emir, prompting the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing US intelligence officials. In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - Your questions answered The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analysed information that showed that senior UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred. Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Washington DC, said this is new information and the US State Department has yet to officially respond. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday returned to the US from his shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf region to try to resolve the dispute. What's behind Gulf demands to shut down Al Jazeera? Khalil Jahshan, Excecutive Director at the Arab Center Washington DC, told Al Jazeera the revelations are the most important development so far since the beginning of the crisis and undermined the Emirati position. "It illustrates that Qatar, from the very beginning of this crisis, by inviting both US and British intelligence services to help investigate this was a step in the right direction," he said "And now the results are out in public and they confirm that hacking has taken place and the quotes that precipitated this crisis by the emir of Qatar were fabricated and resulting from this hacking." Jahshan said the revelations should have an impact on the mediation efforts, although the signs during the crisis so far have not been encouraging.

The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post false quotes linked to Qatar’s emir, prompting the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing US intelligence officials.

The Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had been falsely quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an “Islamic power,” the Post reported. In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”. Qatar strongly denies the allegations.

Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir, an explanation rejected by Gulf states.

READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis – Your questions answered

The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analysed information that showed that senior UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

The officials said it was unclear if the UAE hacked the websites or paid for them to be carried out, the newspaper reported. The Post did not identify the intelligence officials it spoke to for the report.

Qatar-Gulf crisis lingers on as Tillerson heads home

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

“What is true is Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours,” the statement said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously known to be working with Qatar to probe the hacking.

Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Washington DC, said this is new information…

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