The United Arab Emirates has rejected a report indicating it hacked Qatari government news and social media websites to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that generated regional turmoil.
The Washington Post on Sunday released a report citing U.S. intelligence officials that said the UAE orchestrated the hacking in late May that sparked ongoing turmoil between Qatar and its regional neighbors.
The Post report said U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that senior members of the UAE government discussed the hacking plan and implementation on May 23. The anonymous U.S. officials told The Post that U.S. intelligence does not know if the UAE carried out hacks itself or contracted to have them carried out.
The false reports posted on the Qatari websites said that Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani called Iran an "Islamic power" and praised Hamas, the Palestinian militant and political organization, The Post reported.
Following the comments attributed to the emir, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in early June froze diplomatic, economic and transportation ties with Qatar on accusations of supporting terrorist networks. The countries called on the nation, among other things, to downgrade its relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and close its al-Jazeera media outlet.