UAE strongly denies hacking Qatari sites


The Washington Post report accusing the United Arab Emirates of being behind the alleged hacking of Qatar's state media agency (QNA) is infallible proof of its responsibility for the attack, Qatari officials has said.

While there is similarly no verifiable proof in the Sunday report by Washington Post, it also cites a recent leak of the UAE's ambassador's emails, released by the GlobalLeaks hacking group.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that USA officials believe the United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari news sites in May, posting false quotes by the country's leader that set off the Gulf region's most serious diplomatic crisis in years.

USA intelligence agencies confirmed in May that the UAE government discussed a plan to breach Qatar government websites, according to the Post.

Hours later, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, reiterated his government's denial, while addressing a gathering at Chatham House in London.

News agencies and channels with close ties to the UAE, Saudi and Egyptian governments reported the emir's quoted comments with startling speed soon after the alleged hack took place. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas [terrorist organizations, outlawed in Russia] and Qadafi.

The UAE's government has denied any involvement in the hacking but the allegations from a respected newspaper with impeccable intelligence sources spell trouble for the coalition against Qatar. After a long delay, the bloc presented its list of demands to Qatar on June 22 and gave the country just ten days to comply.

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Saudi Arabia's move was welcomed by United States president Donald Trump despite a large U.S. presence at the Al Udeid Air Base, the primary base of USA air operations against the Islamic State. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours", Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

"We have neither seen the letter referred to in the article, nor sought nor received comment from any representative of Federation Internationale de Football Association on the issue".

A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official said global monitoring was needed in the standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, adding he saw signs that the pressure exerted on Doha "was working".

Qatar's Foreign Minister told reporters in Turkey on Friday that it would be unfair to describe Tillerson's visit to the Gulf as a failure, insisting that the crisis "cannot be solved in a day".

The FBI was previously known to be working with Qatar to investigate the hacking.

The false remarks by Emir Al Thani were quickly picked up and circulated by other Gulf news outlets, even after Qatar issued a statement clarifying the story was fabricated.