UAE Behind Hacking of Qatari Media

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 18, 2017

Responding to the allegations yesterday, the UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba dismissed the report as "false".

The Washington Post cited unidentified us intelligence officials as saying they had learned last week of newly analyzed information showing that top UAE officials had discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

Shortly after the hack, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt blocked all Qatari news sites and severed ties with Qatar.

Later that day, the official Qatar News Agency quoted Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as criticising USA "hostility" towards Iran, describing it as an "Islamic power that can not be ignored", and calling Hamas the "legitimate representative of the Palestinian people". The story said the Emirates orchestrated the hacks, though it said it wasn't clear whether the UAE carried out the cyber attack on its own, or contracted another party to do it.

If this latest report is accurate, it would fit with what we know about the crisis.

According to the Post report, unidentified USA intelligence officials last week discovered new information revealing that UAE officials had discussed the planned hacks on May 23, just days before they occurred.

The officials were not identified in the Post's report.

The Washington Post cited USA intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated.

The UAE has denied that it was responsible for an alleged hacking of the Qatari state news agency and websites earlier this year.

Dr Al Kitbi said this media campaign is funded by Qatar and meant to divert the attention from its support and funding of terrorist and terrorism.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, also said the accusation the UAE hacked Qatar was "purely not true".

He added, "What is true is Qatar's behavior". But his efforts, and those of European states, have so far been unsuccessful.

The newspaper report, published online Sunday evening, cited unnamed US intelligence officials.

Qatar rejected the ultimatum by calling it an "unprovoked attack on Qatar's sovereignty" and has denied supporting extremists.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait last week in response to the impasse and said that direct talks could take place between the feuding nations but warned that resolving the dispute "may take quite a while".

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