The report said that information accessed by US intelligence officials has confirmed that senior members of the UAE government had discussed the plan and its implementation.
Al Thani had been falsely quoted in May as praising Hamas, the Palestinian group which governs the Gaza Strip, and saying that Iran was an “Islamic power“.
Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from Washington, DC, said this is new information and the US Department of State has yet to officially respond. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gadhafi. Though Qatar immediately took down the quotes and insisted they were the result of a hack, the comments nevertheless incensed the country’s neighbors and ended up serving as a pretext for their decision to sever diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar weeks later. “But we can not have a member who is undermining us and supporting extremism”, Gargash said during a speech at the Chatham House global affairs think tank in London. It continued: “What is true is Qatar’s behaviour”. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.
USA officials concede they aren’t yet sure if the UAE directly hacked the Qatari outlet, or “contracted it out”, but either way it’s clear this whole diplomatic crisis was manufactured ahead of time, with the goal of forcing Qatar to make concessions coming before the blockade was publicly discussed. “Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours”.
Among other things, they’ve always been irate over Qatar’s ties to militant and terrorist Islamist groups in the Mideast and its friendly relations with Iran – Saudi Arabia’s chief rival in the region. The states later imposed trade sanctions and severed diplomatic ties with Doha, a move that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said could undermine USA counterterrorism efforts against the Islamic State. This was after USA president, Donald Trump completed a back to back meetings with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the Emir of Qatar. The United States’s stance on Qatar has been murky over the years. And while Trump continues to express support for the boycott on Twitter, the Pentagon signed a $12 billion agreement to sell as many as 36 F-15 jets to Qatar. Key Qatari ally Turkey on Monday said it was bulking up its military presence in Qatar, in defiance of the allies’ call for it to pull out. Qatar houses more than 10,000 US troops at its air base near Doha.