Qatar hits out at UAE over Al Jazeera 'hacking'

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) led an attempt to hack the social media and government news websites in Qatar, although it is not known if they had a direct connection to the hacks or if outside help was used, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain in early June cut off diplomatic relations, severed air, land and sea links with Qatar and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries within two weeks.

Dr Ebtisam Al Kitbi, chairwoman of Emirates Policy Centre, questioned the credibility of the report published by the Washington Post and slammed it as "mere fabrications".

It is not clear if the UAE government's intelligence agencies carried out the hack or hired contractors to do so. Later, it blamed the UAE for the planted story - an allegation backed up by the USA intelligence sources quoted in the Washington Post on Sunday.

The UAE has denied the hacking claims in a statement released in Washington by its ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba.

What is true is Qatar's behavior.

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Still, the four Arab powers have said the memorandum fell short of allaying their concerns that their sanctions would remain in place until Doha meets their demands and that they would keep a close eye on Qatar's efforts to fight terrorism funding. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi.

The story was removed after half an hour but not before television stations based...

The Guardian reported last month that an investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had concluded that freelance Russian hackers were responsible. Global allies such as the United States are anxious that the row could affect coalition counter-terrorism efforts against Isis.

Mr Gargash told the BBC that Qatar's denial had been contradicted by its agreement to review a list of 59 individuals and 12 organisations who the UAE has accused of supporting terrorism and wants arrested or expelled.

Gargash, who also suggested worldwide monitoring of Qatar was needed, added there were no plans for a meeting between the two sides under the auspices of Kuwait, a neutral Gulf Arab country seeking to mediate in the spat.

Speaking at a forum in London, Anwar Gargash also said the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar.

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