United Arab Emirates organized the hacking of the websites of the Qatari state news Agency and social media posting there is a false and provocative statements allegedly made by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani), as reported by representatives of U.S. intelligence. This carried out in late may, the burglary caused a crisis in relations between Qatar and its neighbors, which is still ongoing.
Last week it became known that American intelligence agencies analyzed the new information they collect, which confirms that the government of the UAE on 23 may discussed the plan and details of its implementation. Us officials noted that it is unclear whether engaged in hacking experts India, or the government hired hackers from another country. In false reports, among other things, stated that the Emir has called Iran the “Islamic state” and praised Hamas.
Hacker attacks and the placing of false information had taken place on 24 may, shortly after President trump held a long meeting on counter-terrorism with the leaders of Persian Gulf countries in neighboring Saudi Arabia and stated that these countries are United.
Referring to aired comments assigned to Emir, the Saudis, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt immediately banned all Qatari media. Then they broke off relations with Qatar, and announced the country trade and diplomatic boycott, which in the region there was a sharp aggravation of the political situation and started a diplomatic crisis. U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson warned that the regional split can weaken counter-terrorism efforts of the United States in the fight against “Islamic state” (an organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.).
The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba (Yousef al-Otaiba) called the false information from the article in the Washington Post.
“The UAE does not have any relation to described in this article, cyber attack, — reads the statement of the Ambassador. But the behavior of Qatar’s true. It funds, supports and encourages extremists, starting with the Taliban and Hamas, and ending Gaddafi. He incites violence, encourages radicalization and undermines the stability of its neighbours”.
These revelations came after journalists in the past few months is familiar with the contents of mail allegedly stolen by hackers from the personal account of Otaiby. The responsibility for this hacking took over supporting Qatar organization called GlobalLeaks. Many stolen mail messages stating that UAE for many years sought support analysts and Washington politicians in matters that were at the centre of its dispute with Qatar.
All Gulf countries are part of the coalition headed by the USA against “the Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization — approx. TRANS.). On the air base Qatar al-Udeid air base hosted more than 10 thousand American soldiers, as well as regional headquarters of U.S. Central command. But Bahrain-based Fifth fleet of the U.S. Navy. All these countries are buying American military equipment and is largely due to American foreign policy priorities.
This conflict also has exposed sharp disagreements between trump, who in their tweets and statements clearly sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and Tillerson, which calls for compromise and the greater part of last week was dedicated Shuttle diplomacy, flying between the capitals of the Gulf States, but not yet having achieved any success.
“We do not expect a speedy settlement,” — said on Saturday the assistant Tillerson R. Hammond (R.C. Hammond). According to him, the Secretary of state suggested that “the Saudi bloc” and Qatar a number of ideas to unblock the situation, including “a common set of principles that could support all countries to establish a common starting position”.
Qatar has repeatedly stated that his sites were attacked by hackers, but the results of his investigation are not yet published. Representatives of the intelligence services declare that they have a working theory about hacker break-ins Qatari sites. It consists in the fact that Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, or some combination of these countries were involved in the break-ins carried out. But it’s unclear whether he participated in this plan and other States.
Representatives of the U.S. intelligence and other officials shared information on the condition of anonymity, since we are talking about very sensitive issues.
The office of the Director of national intelligence and the CIA declined to comment. Did not comment on what is happening and the FBI, which, according to Qatar, helped in the investigation.
The representative of the Qatari Embassy in Washington drew attention to the statement of the attorney-General of his country Fetais Ali bin al-Marri (Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri). It is at the end of last month said that “Qatar has evidence that the implementation of the attack against him was used smartphones sold in countries that have exposed Qatar siege.”
Hammond said that he knew nothing about American intelligence analyzed the materials in the UAE, and how if you knew about them Tillerson.
Because of the incident with the hacking broke out a sharp quarrel between the Persian Gulf monarchies, which has been brewing for years. The latest flare-up of tensions occurred in 2013, when Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain accused Qatar of giving asylum to political dissidents and the support of the all-Arab organization “Muslim brotherhood”, as well as funding terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and to use the state media to destabilize the situation in neighboring countries.
Energy-rich Qatar, which is ruled by no one elected monarchy, saw in these inspired Saudis accusations attempt neighboring autocratic rulers to stifle in the cradle of his liberal tendencies. The United States has warned Qatar about the need to tighten the screws to their rich men who secretly funded Islamist terrorist organizations. Washington in the past also warned that the Saudis and other Gulf countries. Qatar, along with other signed in 2014, an agreement in which he promised to take action but in fact did nothing.
During the two-day visit to Riyadh, trump met with the members of the cooperation Council of the Gulf countries in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, and also held individual talks behind closed doors with the leaders of this Board, including Qatari Emir. Before leaving on 22 may trump gave a speech in which he spoke about religious tolerance and unity in the fight against terrorisam. It listened to more than 50 Muslim leaders who had gathered for the occasion from all over the world.
But the most attention he paid to the Saudi king Salman, calling him a wise leader and a man who controls the vast oil reserves of the country. The Saudis have decided to purchase American weapons for $ 100 billion that the administration has called the highest success visit trump, and has also signed letters of intent to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in deals with American companies.
In giving the environment an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, trump told how to inform the Saudis that the contract agreement is an obligatory condition for his arrival. “I said you should do it, otherwise I will not come”, — said the President.
First assigned to the Emir of the statements appeared on the website of the Qatar News Agency early on the morning of 24 may the message of his presence at a military ceremony, when trump was in Israel, concluding his nine-day foreign tour. According to the Qatari government, after 45 minutes, it sent out an urgent notice stating that false information.
But that morning this same stuffing information appeared in the running line of the video the involvement of the Emir in a military ceremony, which was posted on the YouTube channel, the Qatari news Agency. Similar material appeared on the state news feeds on Twitter.
Saudi state media have repeatedly conveyed these messages to the ether, making it even after the Qataris warned that the material is false. The UAE ceased the transfer of all Qatari media within their borders, including those funded by the Qatar satellite network Al Jazeera, which is the most popular in the Arab world.
In the first week of June, the Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Qatar, ordered everyone living within their territory Qataris to leave the country and closed the borders for land, air and sea links with Qatar. This country is located on a Peninsula in the Persian Gulf, its only land border is with Saudi Arabia.
Accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and to instigate instability in the region, these countries have declared it too close with Iran, which is the main rival to Riyadh in the struggle for regional power, as well as the main accomplice of global terrorism, declared by the United States. Iran actively trades with most countries of the Persian Gulf, including the UAE, and in addition, he shared with Qatar gas field, the largest in the world.
The next day after the announcement of the boycott trump indirectly put it credit. “It’s wonderful to observe that the visit to Saudi Arabia by the king and the meeting with representatives of 50 countries is already bearing fruit — he wrote on Twitter. They said that will be tough to counter the financing of extremism, and all the while pointed to Qatar”.
At the same time, Tillerson and Minister of defense of Jim Mattis urged to conduct negotiations and to promptly resolve the dispute. When a group of countries, led by Saudi Arabia published a list of “non-negotiable” requirements for Qatar, including the closure of Al Jazeera and expel a number of people who are considered terrorists, the state Department called them unfounded, stating that the question of the financing of terrorism is a smokescreen that hides the long-standing regional conflicts and grievances that need to be solved through mediators and through negotiations.
Qatar has rejected these. Tillerson seemed to agree that they are draconian. But when he called to ease the boycott, saying it is causing humanitarian hardship and security problems, trump said that this measure is tough but necessary.
One of the concrete results of the trip Tillerson to the region last week, was signed with Qatar new bilateral agreement to end the financing of terrorism. According to Hammond, Qatar was the only country in the Persian Gulf, which responded to the invitation.
Speaking to reporters aboard the plane returning Friday to Washington, Tillerson called this trip was useful because he “heard and felt how serious the situation is, and what turbulent emotions cause these problems”. According to him, he left both sides of the us proposals and suggested that “in some areas we can move forward.”
As stated Tillerson, all involved in this country “is really important for us from the point of view of national security. We need to get this part of the world was stable, however, the conflict between the parties that is clearly not promoted”.
Answering the question about the tweets and the comments trump, Tillerson noted that the Secretary of state is very different from the head of Exxon, where he worked previously. “The thing is, that’s where I was the final authority in making decisions,” he said. There he knew what to expect from longtime colleagues and the decision-making process was orderly and “well structured”.
“We cannot say that this is typical of the US government. And I say this not as a criticism, but simply stating a fact,” said Tillerson. According to him, the President came to the White house, not from the world of politics, however, the nature of his previous work, he often had contact with the outside world, and therefore “to communicate and collaborate with other me rather easily.”
Trump, for his part, during an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network agreed that he Tillerson “there are slight differences, but only in terms of tonality” of the conflict in the Persian Gulf.
Qatar, noted trump, “has now appeared in a little isolation, but I think soon he will come out of it.” Responding to a question on the us military base in Qatar, trump said that this issue does not bother him.
“Everything will be fine, he said. — Look, if we have to leave, we have 10 countries willing to build another base, believe me. And they’ll pay for it.”
Your story gave Fahim Karim (Kareem Fahim) and Carol Morello (Carol Morello).
Karen DeJong — Deputy editor and senior correspondent on national security issues of the newspaper the Washington Post.
Ellen Nakashima is a reporter for The Washington Post covering national security issues.