Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Hack, fake story expose real tensions between Qatar, Gulf

Hack, fake story expose real tensions between Qatar, Gulf

The website of the Qatari-owned worldwide news broadcaster could not be accessed in either country on Wednesday.

Qatar continued justifying that what happened is an unfair crackdown that came in conjunction with USA president Trump's visit to the region and aims to connect the country to terrorism, distorting its efforts in achieving stability.

KSA and UAE media outlets also considered that Doha devoted all its capabilities to be the voice of the militant groups, describing the Qatari step as a disaster.

Al-Thani met with Trump last week when the USA leader was in Riyadh on the first leg of his first foreign trip.

Reuters news agency quoted a Qatari government spokesman as saying that while Sheikh Tamim had attended a graduation ceremony for Qataris doing national service, he "however did not make any speech or give any statements".

Gamal Sultan commented to Daily News Egypt on the necessity of an Egyptian response, saying that Egypt does not need to respond, as if the statements were true and not fabricated, so this is a confirmation of Egypt's accusation against Qatar.

The fake report published late on Tuesday quoted Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani commenting on a number of sensitive regional issues, including relations with other Middle Eastern countries and new US President Donald Trump.

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The fake article quoted Sheikh Tamim as calling Iran an "Islamic power" and saying Qatar's relations with Israel were "good" during a military ceremony.

This week the USA president demanded that Gulf states do more to combat the export of extremist teaching into Europe and a former U.S. defence secretary, Robert Gates, said he did not know of any instance in which Qatar aggressively "went after the terrorist financing of Hamas, Taliban and al-Qaida".

A statement from Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al Thani, the director of the Qatar's government communications office, said an investigation was ongoing.

"The statement published has no basis whatsoever, and that the competent authorities in the State of Qatar will hold all those committed accountable", the statement added. In 2012, a damaging virus crippled computer systems at Qatari natural gas producer RasGas soon after a similar attack on Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company.

Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper accused Qatar of "breaking ranks" and choosing to "side with the enemies of the nation", while the website of the Doha-based Al Jazeera network was blocked in the United Arab Emirates.

Despite this endorsement of Hamas, the Emir seems to have still refuted allegations of his country supporting terror, yet Doha is infamous for supporting both Lebanon's Hezbollah and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood which is designated a terrorist group by fellow GCC countries.

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