UAE denies hacking Qatari government news site

Qatar said the UAE’s reported involvement in the hacking is “unfortunate” and a breach of agreements among the Gulf countries.The UAE has denied the hacking claims in a statement released in Washington by its ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba. Funding, supporting and enabling extremists from the Taleban to Hamas and (former Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi.The United Arab Emirates was behind the hack of a Qatar news agency that helped spark one of the biggest diplomatic crises in the Middle East in decades, according to a bombshell Washington Post report citing unnamed U.S. intelligence officials on Sunday.The Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analyzed information that showed that top UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.The officials claimed it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, cutting diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with Persian Gulf Arab states arch-foe Iran.Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision “unjustified”.Qatar has accused its neighbours of being behind an alleged cyber attack on Doha’s state media which set into motion the current diplomatic crisis.According to the report, the UAE’s government orchestrated the publication of false quotations attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, about Iran, Hamas, and Israel in May on Qatari government news and social media sites. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shuttled around the region last week, but but returned home without a breakthrough.UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash also said the story “is purely wrong” and said that “this issue has been festering since 2014″. “Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours”, the statement said.Dr Ebtisam Al Kitbi, chairwoman of Emirates Policy Centre, questioned the credibility of the report published by the Washington Post and slammed it as “mere fabrications”.Gargash’s speech in London appeared to question Qatar’s future in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the regional trade and security group.The report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place”, it added.