UAE minister denies any hacking of Qatar

Turkey Trying to Ignite World War 3 in Gulf

Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir, an explanation rejected by Gulf states.

The cyber attack of the systems of Qatar's state news agency in early June was reportedly organized by the UAE, the Washington Post reported on July 16 citing American intelligence officials. 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.

The US intelligence officials told the Washington Post it was unclear whether the UAE authorities had hacked the Qatar News Agency itself or paid a third party to do it.

The UAE embassy in Washington on Monday sent a series of tweets quoting its ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, denying the Washington Post report, which was published Sunday and, according to the paper, was based on information provided by unnamed United States intelligence officials.

The hack, which took place the following day, preceded the current split in the Gulf between Qatar and a coalition of four states that are mounting an economic and diplomatic boycott against it.

Speaking at the Chatham House forum in London on Monday, the UAE foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, twice denied the veracity of the claims.

The Washington Post cited USA intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated. The official representative of the Qatari Foreign Ministry said that the agency's site was hacked, the speech was published by hackers and has nothing to do with the country's leader. What is true is Qatar's behavior. In other words, the suggestion is that UAE hacked into Qatar, planted a false story, and then used the false story as a causus belli for the blockade of Qatar.

Egypt has scrapped visa free travel for Qatari nationals amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and four Arab nations.

Gargash also stated that the Arab states need to be convinced that Qatar is no longer a sponsor of terrorism. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours", Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

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

The quartet issued a list of 13 demands that included not just ending support for terrorists and extremists but shutting down Qatar's Al Jazeera TV network, severing ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base.

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