UAE denies Washington Post report it orchestrated Qatar hack


There's little likelihood of a quick resolution to the Gulf standoff over Qatar as the emirate's neighbors want a solution "that will stick", according to a senior United Arab Emirates official.

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Washington Post did not identify the intelligence officials it spoke to for the report. Which made sense. After all, there's no reason to believe that Qatar is any more guilty of abetting terrorism than Saudi Arabia is; America has little use for a diplomatic crisis between its Gulf state allies; and, most critically, the USA runs its air operations over Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan from a giant military base outside Doha.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha, Qatar, on July 11.

And now USA intelligence agencies are claiming the quotes were posted falsely and deliberately in a state-sponsored hack ordered by the UAE trying to whip up anger against its smaller Gulf neighbour. 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. The country's foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, said Monday, "The Washington Post story is not true". He said that the story "will die" in the next few days.

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The UAE's ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, told the Post its article was "false". "UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article", Al Otaiba was quoted as saying in the tweet. "What is true is Qatar's behavior. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors".

Initially the U.S. seemed to have taken sides with them against Qatar in the dispute, President Trump accusing the Qataris of funding terrorism "at the highest level".

Qatar - which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia - has rejected accusations it supports terrorism, calling them "unjustified" and "baseless".

The United States, which is allied with Qatar and its critics, has sought to broker a solution.

The ongoing crisis has threatened to complicate the US -led coalition's fight against the Islamic State group as all participants are USA allies and members of the anti-IS coalition. Qatar houses more than 10,000 USA troops at its air base near Doha.