UAE behind hacking of Qatari media

Anwar Gargash, the UAE state minister for foreign affairs, also denied a Washington Post report saying that his country had been behind an alleged cyber attack on Qatar in May which sparked a crisis.

The US intelligence learned about the UAE's involvement after analyzing the obtained information that UAE senior officials allegedly discussed the plan of hacking Qatar's media outlet on May 23, one day prior to the attack.

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was "false", the Post said. In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

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The United Arab Emirates warned Qatar on Monday it could not belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council if it undermined regional security, calling for a "change of behaviour" but not "regime change".

Qatar has maintained its emir never made the remarks and that the quotes were planted by hackers.

U.S. investigators in June told CNN that they believed Russian hackers breached the Qatari sites and planted false information and quotes.

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U.S. investigators have been working in Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hack, according to Qatari and U.S. government officials.

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 destabilizing 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. "You can not be both our friend and the friend of Al Qaeda".

Gargash said there was a broader problem with financing for extremists in the Gulf but that countries like Saudi Arabia were "dealing with it".

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In late June, Kuwait, as a mediator in the crisis, handed over to Qatar the ultimatum of the four Arab states with 13 demands, including the requests to severe Doha's relations with Tehran, close Turkey's military base in Qatar and shut down the Al Jazeera TV channel, as well as to end support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization banned in Russian Federation.

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