UAE denies hacking Qatar news agency

The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post fiery but false quotes linked to Qatar’s emir, prompting a diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing us intelligence officials.

Swiss news network The Local said a fake news story quoting Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino had been posted on a copycat website on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters following a Chatham House speech in London, Gargash said that the Washington Post story was “purely not true”, adding that it “will die” soon.

He also reiterated that the UAE and five other Arab nations had not written to Federation Internationale de Football Association to demand that Qatar be stripped of the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

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.

The report served as a pretext for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE to all accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups and to subsequently cut off diplomatic and transport ties. However, the remarks were reported across the region and caused a stir.

The article said officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies suggested that senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation.

The report quotes unnamed United States intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was “false“, the Post said.

The FBI, CIA as well as Britain’s NCA, all of whom have been working with Qatar to investigate the QNA hack, are yet to comment on the matter. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gadhafi.