Alwaght-The United Arab Emirates organized the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post provocative false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir sparking the ongoing Persian Gulf Crisis
The Washington Post reported on Sunday 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 Donald Trump completed a lengthy counterterrorism meeting with Persian Gulf leaders in neighboring Saudi Arabia and declared them unified.
Citing the emir's reported comments, the Saudis, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media. They then broke relations with Qatar and declared a trade and diplomatic boycott, sending the region into a political and diplomatic crisis.
In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post story was "false."
The revelations come as emails hacked from Otaiba's private account have circulated to journalists over the past several months. That emails highlight the UAE's determination over the years to rally the US to its side on the issues at the center of its dispute with Qatar.
Qatar has repeatedly charged that its sites were hacked, but it has not yet released the results of its own investigation. Intelligence officials said their working theory since the Qatar hacks has been that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, or some combination of those countries were involved. It remains unclear whether the others also participated in the plan.