New details of Qatari crisis revealed


The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to USA intelligence officials.

On June 5, a group of Gulf countries including Saudi Arabi, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt announced they were breaking diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging its financial support of terrorist organizations.

The comments prompted the Saudi-led bloc to ban all Qatari media before ultimately severing ties with Doha.

The UAE is seeking a regional solution for the Qatar crisis, while consulting with global partners on ways to resolve Arab concerns about Doha's links to extremist and terror groups.

It is not clear if the UAE government's intelligence agencies carried out the hack or hired contractors to do so.

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.

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UAE Ambassador Yousef al Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was "false", the Post said.

A banner aired on CNN bluntly stated that "Russians planted false story behind new Mideast crisis", citing sources. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi.

"The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true", he told the London-based think-tank Chatham House. Previously, US media, citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, blamed the attack on "Russian hackers". "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours".

Putin discussed the crisis with a number of Gulf leaders in a series of phone calls, underlining that it should be resolved through diplomatic means. Staunchly defending its innocence against the allegations from the onset of the crisis, Qatar claimed the demands were deliberately created to be impossible for it to meet and rejected them, causing the current stalemate in negotiations.

Commentators had expected further sanctions to be placed on Doha, however Mr Gargash has said that the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar.