United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

The United Arab Emirates was not responsible for an alleged hack of Qatari websites that helped spark a month-long diplomatic rift with Doha, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs has said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed sanctions on Doha on June 5, including closing its only land border, denying Qatar access to their airspace and ordering their citizens back from the emirate.

Qatar says it believes the Washington Post report, saying it "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place". The officials were quoted as saying it was unclear if the UAE had hacked the sites itself or paid for them to be hacked.

The Washington Post cited unidentified USA intelligence officials as saying they had learned last week of newly analyzed information showing that top UAE officials had discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

He again suggested the structure of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the six-member defence and trading bloc, is not sustainable and denied reports that the UAE had threatened Federation Internationale de Football Association over continuing to allow Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

Meanwhile, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the BBC yesterday the Post's report was "untrue".

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"What is true is Qatar's behaviour".

The four Arab states accuse Qatar of ties to Iran and of funding Islamist extremist groups. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shuttled around the region last week, but but returned home without a breakthrough. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors. His visit had yielded little except for a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Qatar to fight "terrorism".

They were quickly seized on by news organisations outside Qatar, but Doha said they were false.

Khalil Jahshan, executive director at the Arab Center Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera the revelations are the most important development so far since the beginning of the crisis and undermined the Emirati position.

So far Qatar has criticized the hack as a violation of global agreements, and the UAE has blanketly denied involvement, but interestingly there has been no real comment from Saudi Arabia, who is clearly leading the blockade against Qatar.

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