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Report: UAE behind hacking of Qatari media

AP  |  Washington 

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a report by The Post.

The Emirati Embassy in released a statement in response calling the Post report "false" and insisting that the "had no role whatsoever" in the alleged hacking.

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

On the following day, a story appeared on the Qatari Agency's website quoting a speech by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he allegedly praised and said Qatar has a good relationship with

Similarly incendiary statements appeared on the agency's Twitter feed.

The agency quickly claimed it was hacked and removed the article. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.

The ongoing crisis has threatened to complicate the US- led coalition's fight against the Islamic State group as all participants are US allies and members of the anti-IS coalition. Qatar is home to more than 10,000 US troops and the regional headquarters of the US Central Command while is the home of the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

President Donald Trump has sided strongly with and the in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Doha is a supporter of Islamic militant groups and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf, but he departed the region without any public signs of a resolution.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 17 2017. 20:42 IST