The UAE has strongly denied being behind the hacking of Qatar government websites which sparked the ongoing crisis in the Gulf regions.
Responding to claims made by US intelligence officials in a Washington Post article, Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington rubbished the story as "false".
On Twitter, Al Otaiba said: "UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article", adding: "What is true is #Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi".
He spoke out after the Washington Post cited US intelligence officials as saying the UAE 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.
The article said officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by US intelligence agencies suggested that senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation.
The officials claimed it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.
Citing the emir’s reported comments, the Saudis, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media and then broke off relations with Qatar and declared a trade and diplomatic boycott.
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