Report: UAE Hackers Sparked Qatar Crisis

Sources say country was behind media hack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2017 4:01 AM CDT
Report: UAE Was Behind Game-Changing Qatar Hack
An image of Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, graces a billboard featuring the slogan "We are all Tamim" in Doha, Qatar.   (AP Photo/Maggie Hyde, File)

(Newser) – The United Arab Emirates was behind the hacking of Qatari websites that caused major upheaval in the region, according to a bombshell Washington Post report. Citing US intelligence sources, the Post reports that the UAE orchestrated the posting of incendiary false quotes from Qatar's emir about Iran, Israel, Hamas, and other issues on Qatar's government-run news websites. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt banned Qatari media because of the fake quotes from Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani before cutting all ties with the country on June 4. The countries rejected Qatar's explanation that its websites had been hacked by an unknown party.

The FBI is believed to be helping Qatar investigate the source of the hack. Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to the US, released a statement saying the Post's report was "false." "What is true is Qatar's behavior," he said. "Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gadhafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been attempting to solve the crisis, but he returned from the region on Thursday unsuccessful apart from a bilateral agreement with Qatar to fight terrorism, Al Jazeera reports. (Read more Qatar stories.)

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