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Qatar hits out at UAE over government websites 'hack'

Qatar hits out at UAE over government websites 'hack'

The newspaper report, published online Sunday evening, cited unnamed USA intelligence officials.

The officials said it was unclear if the UAE hacked the websites or paid for it to be carried out, the newspaper reported.

Although the countries have been at loggerheads on and off for years, the trigger for the latest row was a news report on a speech by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, which appeared on the state news agency's website.

Qatar said the report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place".

Citing the emir's reported comments, the Saudis, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media.

In an interview, Mohammed Cherkaoui, professor on conflict resolution at George Mason University, said the new Washington Post "bombshell" shows that the Gulf crisis "is moving from one escalation to another".

Earlier Monday, the Washington Post reported that USA intelligence had evidence proving that the United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of the QNA, citing unnamed intelligence sources. However, the remarks were reported across the region and caused a stir.

The UAE envoy to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, dismissed the report as "false" and once again accused Qatar of funding and supporting extremists.

Tesla adds James Murdoch and Linda Johnson Rice to its board
Murdoch is the son of Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of Fox and News Corp, publisher of The Wall Street Journal. She has been active on other boards, including as a director for Omnicom Group Inc. since 2000 and GrubHub Inc.

The Post report yesterday was quickly decried as "false" by the Emirati Embassy in Washington. It continued: "What is true is Qatar's behaviour".

Qatar rejected the ultimatum by calling it an "unprovoked attack on Qatar's sovereignty" and has denied supporting extremists.

"Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours", the statement said.

The FBI, CIA as well as Britain's NCA, all of whom have been working with Qatar to investigate the QNA hack, are yet to comment on the matter.

Qatar has acknowledged providing assistance to Islamist groups designated as terrorist organisations by some of its neighbours, notably the Muslim Brotherhood.

"What we know now is that Qatar is admitting that the list is worthy, that the list needs to be looked at, and that they need to change some of their laws to ensure that there is a proper process to cover this list", he said.

"I understand the concern of our allies", he added.


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