Monday, 25 September, 2017

US Intelligence Alleges UAE Hacked Qatari Government Sites Sparking Crisis

Kenny Thornton | 17 July, 2017, 17:20

The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post fiery but false quotes linked to Qatar's emir, prompting a diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing us intelligence officials.

Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, imposed a boycott on Qatar since June 5. It quoted him praising Hamas and Iran - ideological foes of other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council.

A senior UAE official said global monitoring was needed in the standoff between Qatar and its Arab neighbours, adding he saw signs that the pressure exerted on Doha "was working".

"What is true is Qatar's behaviour".

The Washington Post newspaper is reporting that new intelligence reveals the UAE government meeting to discuss the hacking plot and its execution on 23 May. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi.

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

Temple Mount re-opens days after Israeli policemen shot dead
Abbas Zaki, of the central committee of al-Fatah, said Israel was morally responsible for the Jerusalem attack. The temple was closed for the first time in almost 50 years on a Friday, Islam's holy day.

President Trump, who had been working to foster better relations with the Saudis, blasted Qatar in June calling the country "a funder of terrorism."

UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba denied the new information in a statement, saying it was "false". "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours". "We need to be certain that Qatar, a state with $300 billion in reserves, is no longer an official or unofficial sponsor of jihadist and terrorist causes". Qatar vehemently denies all the allegations against it.

Mattis stressed that the current Gulf crisis has had no effect on the operations of Al Udeid airbase, which "continue (s) to operate around the clock, and the supplies are there", adding "There's no need to look at alternatives".

"We've sent a message to Qatar".

While US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to the region last week in an effort to bring the parties to the negotiating table, a State Department spokesperson did not predict any breakthrough in the near future. 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.

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