UAE minister responds to hacking claims


The United Arab Emirates has denied it was behind the alleged hacking of Qatar's state news agency in May.

The Washington Post cited USA intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated.

Meanwhile, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the BBC yesterday the Post's report was "untrue".

The role of UAE in the rift between Qatar and several Arab countries has come forward. "You will see in the next few days the story will die".

Qatar accused the United Arab Emirates on Monday of violating global law after reports suggested Abu Dhabi orchestrated the hacking of the Qatari official news agency and social media sites.

In the articles, Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was quoted as cautioning against confrontation with Iran, as well as defending the Palestinian group Hamas and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia movement allied with Tehran. The bogus remarks were reported by Saudi-supporting media.

The GCC is a six-member bloc that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The hack, which took place the following day, preceded the current split in the Gulf between Qatar and a coalition of four states that are mounting an economic and diplomatic boycott against it. The boycott has caused turmoil in the oil- and gas-rich emirate, which is dependent on imports by land and sea for the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

"The Washington Post story is not true, purely not true", he said responding to a question after a speech at Chatham House in London.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously known to be working with Qatar to probe the hacking.

But according to United States intelligence agencies, in a report leaked to the Washington Post, the hack was planned by UAE government officials, although it is unclear whether UAE government agencies carried out the cyber attacks directly or contracted a third-party to do it for them to keep it at arm's length.

"What is true is Qatar's behavior". Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", the statement said. But it has denied aiding jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda or so-called Islamic State (IS).