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  World   Americas  17 Jul 2017  UAE behind Qatar govt websites hacking that sparked crisis: media

UAE behind Qatar govt websites hacking that sparked crisis: media

REUTERS
Published : Jul 17, 2017, 11:56 am IST
Updated : Jul 17, 2017, 11:56 am IST

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was ‘false’.

 The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analyzed information that showed that top UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred. (Photo: AP)
  The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analyzed information that showed that top UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred. (Photo: AP)

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

The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had been 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.

 

Read: Amid Gulf crisis, Qatar's Al-Jazeera Twitter account suspended

The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analyzed information that showed that top 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.

Read: Gulf crisis: Arab nations slam Qatar's non-compliance as threat to security

UAE Ambassador 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 radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours," the statement said.

Read: Gulf crisis: Tillerson hold talks with Arab ministers over Qatar boycott

The US State Department declined comment in response to a Reuters query.

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

Tags: qatar row, gulf crisis, qatar govt, hacking
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington