UAE refutes US paper report on hacking of Qatari websites as ‘false’

By on July 18, 2017


UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba. (Photo: UAE Embassy in Washington, DC/Facebook)
UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba. (Photo: UAE Embassy in Washington, DC/Facebook)

RIYADH — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday rejected as “false” a Washington Post article alleging that the UAE orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government websites that triggered off the standoff in the Gulf.

UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a statement that the Post story is “false,” Al Arabiya TV reported.

“The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article” published on the Washington Post, Otaiba said in a statement.

Quoting intelligence sources, the Post article said the UAE orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in May in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad al-Thani, which sparked the standoff between Qatar and the Saudi Arabia-led bloc of Arab countries.

In the remarks posted on official Qatari websites, Sheikh Tamim praised Iran as well as the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. Saudi Arabia, as well as the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt then cut their diplomatic ties with Doha and imposed a total economic blockade on the tiny rich Gulf nation.

Otaiba said that “what is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi,” referring to former Libyan leader Muammar Qadafi.

He also slammed Qatar for “inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors.”

Despite intensified diplomatic mediation efforts, which included the visit to the Gulf by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week, the Qatari crisis continues as both sides refuse to back down. (Xinhua)