Alleged UAE hacking ‘unfortunate,’ violation of law

The development emerged hours after The Washington Post, citing unidentified us intelligence officials, reported that the UAE orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government websites in May to post pro-Iran comments that ultimately led to the feud.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.The cyberattack saw the broadcast of fake news claiming that the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas.”We need a regional solution and worldwide monitoring”, said Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, in prepared remarks he was scheduled to deliver on Monday in London.”The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article”, the statement said according to the Washington Post.Yesterday the Washington Post reported that the UAE had hacked into Qatar’s state media in order to plant incendiary statements that would give them an excuse to retaliate against Qatar.Speaking at the Chatham House forum in London on Monday, the UAE foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, twice denied the veracity of the claims.He indicated that the culprit was one of the Middle Eastern countries that carried out a boycott of Qatar in the fallout of the hack, including Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the UAE.Intelligence officials said their working theory since the Qatar hacks has been that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt or some combination of those countries were involved. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi. “Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors”.Other demands include stopping the alleged funding of terrorist groups in the region, the termination of the Turkish military presence in Qatar, the shutting down of Al Jazeera and reparations for the damage allegedly caused by Qatari interference.The Washington Post story also comes days after the U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson spent four days engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – all strategic USA partners – seeking to find a way to resolve the crisis. Qatar has rebuffed the demands and has denied the bloc’s allegation that it funds terrorism.President Trump has prioritized improving relations with Saudi Arabia but not with Qatar.With US spy agencies now apparently briefing against them, Qatar’s antagonists may conclude US sympathy for their position is rapidly dwindling.