UAE Denies Involvement in QNA Hacking

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 17, 2017

Qatar has called the alleged hacking of its state news agency by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) "a violation of worldwide law".

The Washington Post cited United States intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated.

Earlier in the day, the UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, said the story is false.

"What we really do want is we either reach an agreement and Qatar's behavior changes, or Qatar makes it own bed and they can move on and we can move with a new relationship. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", the statement said.

That came after Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, was quoted online calling Iran - a key rival to Saudi Arabia - an Islamic power and describing Qatari relations with Israel as good.

Since June 5, Qatar has been under a land, sea and air blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, who accuse Doha of supporting terrorism.

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.

But Qatar said that the Washington Post report proved its version of events, that its websites were hacked and that quotes were fabricated and published. The Post did not identify the intelligence officials it spoke to for the report.

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U.S. investigators have been working in Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hack, according to Qatari and United States government officials.

Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Washington, DC, said this is new information and the US Department of State has yet to officially respond.

"Perhaps this will finally result in some movement".

"Tillerson's spokesperson has said that [Qatar-Gulf crisis negotiations] may be a long process to find any sort of common ground in resolving this conflict", said Zhou-Castro. The move has left the Gulf kingdom effectively isolated in the region.

Qatar said in June it had proof that the recent hacking of its state-run news agency and government social media accounts was linked to countries that have recently cut ties with it.

They say Qatar has supported many radical groups.

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. But his efforts, and those of European states, have so far been unsuccessful.

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