UAE denies reports on hacking Qatari state media

The report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place”, it added. The QNA (Qatar News Agency) hack led to a major regional upheaval, straining Qatar’s relations with its neighbours.

A spokesman for the Qatari Embassy in Washington responded by pointing to a month-old statement by that government’s attorney general Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri, “Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack”, the Washington Post reported.

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.

The UAE envoy in Washington earlier called The Post story as “false”.

“I just want to say that the Post story is completely untrue”, the Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, told the BBC.

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.

The Post cites unnamed U.S. intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the hacking plan on May 23.

On June 15, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and other allies cut diplomatic and trade links in a bid to isolate Qatar and accused the country of supporting extremism. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.

Yousef al-Otaiba, UAE’s ambassador to the United States, rejected the hack accusation in a statement, saying it was “false”, the Washington Post said.

The emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had been quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an “Islamic power”, the Post reported.

“What is true is Qatar’s behaviour”.

Qatar’s antagonists accuse it of supporting terrorism and giving a home to extremists inciting violence and radicalisation.

The FBI was previously known to be working with Qatar to investigate the hacking.

Mr Gargash said Qatar’s neighbours were prepared to continue the boycott for months if it did not comply with the list of demands it was handed last month and agree to global monitoring.