Monday, July 17, 2017

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, say U.S. intel officials

The revelations come as emails purportedly hacked from Otaiba’s private account have circulated to journalists over the past several months.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Washington Post
By Karen DeYoung & Ellen Nakashima | July 16, 2017

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. The false reports said that the emir, among other things, had called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised Hamas.

The hacks and posting took place on May 24, shortly after President Trump completed a lengthy counterterrorism meeting with Persian Gulf leaders in neighboring Saudi Arabia and declared them unified.

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