The United Arab Emirates had arranged for the hacking of Qatari government’s social media and news sites in May that led to the diplomatic standoff, The Washington Post reported on Sunday quoting unidentified intelligence officials from the United States.
Qatar had earlier claimed that Qatar News Agency was hacked and a false statement was attributed to the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The comments appeared to be friendly to Iran and Israel, and questioned how long US President Donald Trump would last in office.
Following this, Gulf countries including the Saudi, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE cut-off diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of terrorism.
According to the officials who spoke to The Washington Post, top UAE government officials were believed to have discussed the hacks on May 23, a day before the breach occurred.
The UAE has, however, denied the allegations and said the report was “false”. “The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,” UAE Ambassador in Washington Yousef al-Otaiba, said in a statement, the newspaper reported. “What is true is Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours.”