UAE fingered for Qatar crisis - report

(iStock)
(iStock)

Washington - The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a Sunday report by The Washington Post.

The Emirati Embassy in Washington released a statement in response calling the Post report "false" and insisting that the UAE "had no role whatsoever" in the alleged hacking.

The report quotes unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.

On the following day, a story appeared on the Qatari News Agency's website quoting a speech by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he allegedly praised Iran and said Qatar has a good relationship with Israel.

Similarly incendiary statements appeared on the news agency's Twitter feed.

The agency quickly claimed it was hacked and removed the article. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.

The ongoing crisis has threatened to complicate the US-led coalition's fight against the Islamic State group as all participants are US allies and members of the anti-ISIS coalition.

Qatar is home to more than 10 000 US troops and the regional headquarters of the US Central Command while Bahrain is the home of the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

President Donald Trump has sided strongly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Doha is a supporter of Islamic militant groups and a destabilising force in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf, but he departed the region without any public signs of a resolution.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4116 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3804 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 409 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.06
-1.0%
GBP/ZAR
19.68
-0.4%
EUR/ZAR
17.10
-0.3%
AUD/ZAR
11.03
-0.3%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
-0.6%
Gold
1,830.44
+0.9%
Silver
27.44
+0.5%
Palladium
2,933.04
-0.6%
Platinum
1,256.51
+0.1%
Brent Crude
68.09
-1.3%
Top 40
62,573
+1.4%
All Share
68,520
+1.4%
Resource 10
71,474
+2.1%
Industrial 25
86,856
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,711
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo