“The information published in the Washington Post … revealed the involvement of the United Arab Emirates and senior Emirati officials in the hacking of Qatar News Agency,” said the Qatari Government Communication Affairs Office in a statement on Monday, adding that the report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place.”
A day earlier, the American paper quoted unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government had discussed the cyber attack and its implementation on Qatar on May 23.
The Emirati Embassy in Washington released a statement in response, calling the Post report “false” and insisting that Abu Dhabi “had no role whatsoever” in the alleged hacking.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also rejected the article as “purely not true,” and denied that his country was behind the alleged cyber attack, which sparked a diplomatic rift between Doha and its neighbors.
In June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with and imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. They presented Qatar with a list of 13 wide-ranging demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.
Doha rejected the demands, which included shutting down the broadcaster Al Jazeera, removing Turkish troops from Qatar’s soil, scaling back cooperation with Iran and ending ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Qatar complained that the demands were meant to force it to surrender its sovereignty.