United Arab Emirates Hacked Qatar, Sparking Gulf Crisis

The hack also involved the planting of damning false stories about Qatar’s emir.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.Few in the administration were thrilled to see the president disown a longtime US ally over Twitter (Jared Kushner, whose family had recently been jilted by a major Qatari investor, was an exception). UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was “false”, the Post said.The report quotes unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.Qatar’s government communications office seized on the report, saying it “revealed the involvement” of the UAE and senior Emirati officials. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas, The Washington Post reported. “We either reach an agreement and Qatar’s behaviour changes, or Qatar makes its own bed and they can move on and we can move with a new relationship”.The four Arab states accuse Qatar of ties to Iran and of funding Islamist extremist groups.It described the alleged hacking as a violation of worldwide law and of agreements between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – the regional trade and security group – as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations.Gargash’s speech in London appeared to question Qatar’s future in the GCC. The statements caused a diplomatic crisis in the region when the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain said the country supported terrorism.”You can not be both our friend and a friend of al-Qaeda”.President Donald Trump has worked to promote better relations with Saudi Arabia, and said last month Qatar supported terrorist activity.Qatar has refused to comply with the 13 demands and says the list and the boycott itself are aimed at “limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy”. They then broke relations with Qatar and declared a trade and diplomatic boycott, sending the region into a political and diplomatic tailspin that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned could undermine USA counterterrorism efforts against the Islamic State.