Qatar: UAE violated international law by hacking state media
Qatar said on Monday the reported involvement of the UAE in hacking its state news agency in May was a violation of international law and a breach of agreements among the Gulf countries.
"It is especially unfortunate that this shameful act of cyber terrorism is being attributed to a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council," said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmad Al-Thani, the head of Qatar's government communications office.
"This criminal act represents a clear violation and breach of international law and of the bilateral and collective agreements signed between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations," he added in a statement.
The Washington Post, quoting unnamed US intelligence officials, reported on Sunday that the UAE orchestrated the hacking and planted a false story that was used as a pretext for the crisis between Qatar and four Arab countries.
The report said senior members of the Emirati government discussed the hacking plan a day before a story appeared on the official Qatar News Agency [QNA] quoting Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, allegedly praising Iran and saying Qatar has a good relationship with Israel.
The UAE has denied involvement, calling the report "false" and insisting that the UAE "had no role whatsoever" in the alleged hacking.
The UAE along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with Qatar in early June over allegations that it supports Islamic extremists – a charge Qatar has categorically denied.
The crisis has dragged on for more than a month with neither side showing signs of backing down.
Qatar has maintained from the beginning that the quotes attributed to its ruler were the result of a hacking.
Doha said on Monday that the Washington Post report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place."
Sheikh Saif added that a Qatari government investigation into the hacking is ongoing and that prosecutors will "take all necessary legal measures to bring to justice the perpetrators and instigators of this crime."