UAE said to be behind hacking of Qatari websites

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.

In the articles, Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was quoted as cautioning against confrontation with Iran, as well as defending the Palestinian group Hamas and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia movement allied with Tehran.

Qatari media was immediately banned in several Arab states, despite an official hack announcement issued by Doha within an hour of the initial attack.

The United Arab Emirates has denied it was behind the alleged hacking of Qatar's state news agency in May.

"You can not be both our friend and a friend of al-Qaeda", he said, repeating allegations - denied by Qatar - that the country funds extremists. The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) declined to comment, according to the newspaper.

The UAE said the Washington Post report was untrue, and that four Arab powers were discussing imposing new sanctions on Qatar.

"And now the results are out in public and they confirm that hacking has taken place and the quotes that precipitated this crisis by the emir of Qatar were fabricated and resulting from this hacking". Pointing out the unnamed sources and unverifiable information frequently used in such reports he added that "fake is a fake".

While there is similarly no verifiable proof in the Sunday report by Washington Post, it also cites a recent leak of the UAE's ambassador's emails, released by the GlobalLeaks hacking group.

Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified". They presented Qatar with a list of 13 wide-ranging demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

In late June, Kuwait, as a mediator in the crisis, handed over to Qatar the ultimatum of the four Arab states with 13 demands, including the requests to severe Doha's relations with Tehran, close Turkey's military base in Qatar and shut down the Al Jazeera TV channel, as well as to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization banned in Russian Federation. The remarks posted on Qatari government news websites criticised attempts to isolate Iran.

The Gulf crisis is the worst to hit the region since the establishment of the GCC in 1981. He was visiting Israel when the QNA got hacked.

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