Qatar says it faces hostile campaign, particularly in US media

Foreign minister speaks out a day after Gulf state accused hackers of attributing false remarks to the emir on state media
Qatars Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani. (Getty Images)
By AFP
Thu 25 May 2017 02:43 PM

Qatar has been targeted by a hostile campaign, particularly in the US media, its foreign minister said, a day after the Gulf state accused hackers of attributing false remarks to the emir on state media.

"There is a hostile media campaign against the state of Qatar, which we will confront," Sheikh Mohammed al-Thani told reporters, adding that the campaign was "particularly in the United States".

"It is surprising that during the past five weeks, there were 13 opinion articles focused on Qatar" in US media, and that the day the Qatari state news agency QNA was "hacked, a conference on Qatar convened without us attending while the authors of those articles were there," he said.

"The hacking took place the same evening" as the conference, he said. "Is this a coincidence?"

The four-hour cyber attack after midnight Tuesday caused ripples across the Middle East because of the content of the stories, including remarks on "tensions" with the US administration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and relations with Iran.

Qatar is a key US ally and home to Al-Udeid, the largest US airbase in the region, which houses around 10,000 troops.

Last month, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis visited Doha and met Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

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