UAE Denies Hacking Qatar News Agency

Qatar’s state news agency was hacked in May, and the United Arab Emirates have denied any claims that it was behind it.

US intelligence officials informed The Washington Post that the UAE had been the one behind the incendiary quotes posted, but Qatar’s emir claims those posts as fake.  The US intelligence officials confirmed that on May 23, members of the UAE government had discussed a plan to hack Qatari state media sites.

No one is sure if it was the UAE government itself, or a third party who hacked the site.

Qatar said the report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place,” but Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the report was “untrue.”

He also mentioned that no one had written to Fifa to have Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup be revoked.  A Swiss Network, The Local, informed us that a fake news story from Gianni Infantino, Fifa’s president, had been posted on a fake news outlet on Saturday

The same day as the fake news outlet posted, the official Qatar News Agency quoted Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as criticising US “hostility” towards Iran.  He described it as an “Islamic power that cannot be ignored”, and called Hamas the “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.

Although the Qatari officials claim them as fake, they were reported everywhere and caused a problem between them and neighboring countries.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt responded by blocking Qatari media.  They then cut ALL links with Qatar because of its reported support for terrorism and relations with Iran.

This is hurting Qatar a lot because it depends on those countries to import their basic needs.

Last month, there was an investigation done by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that concluded that Russian hackers were responsible.

“What is true is Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours,” Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

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Qatar has acknowledged providing assistance to Islamist groups designated as terrorist organizations by some of its neighbors, notably the Muslim Brotherhood.  It has never, however, aided groups linked the al-Qaeda.

Qatar’s neighbors were prepared to continue the boycott for months if the country did not agree with the list of demands it was handed last month and agree to international monitoring.

“I understand the concern of our allies,” he added. “But the issue is that we are being hurt, and the world is being hurt, by a state that has $300bn (£230bn) and is the main sponsor of this jihadist agenda.”

But, he added, the four states would not escalate the boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with them or with Qatar, thankfully for them.

[via bbc]

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