18 Jul 2017 - 2:19
Shameful act of cyber terrorism
QNA & Agencies
The State of Qatar has long maintained that its government news agency website was hacked on May 24 and fabricated quotes were published. The information published in The Washington Post on 16 July 2017 revealed the involvement of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and senior Emirati officials in the hacking of Qatar News Agency (QNA), unequivocally proves that this hacking crime had taken place.
Director of the Government Communications Office, H E Sheikh Saif bin Ahmad Al Thani, stated that it is especially unfortunate that this shameful act of cyber terrorism is being attributed to a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 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 GCC, as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations.
The Director added that the Qatari Public Prosecutions investigation into this crime is ongoing. The Public Prosecutor will take all necessary legal measures to bring to justice the perpetrators and instigators of this crime, whether in Qatari courts or relevant international jurisdictions specialising in cybercrimes, as per the statement of the Public Prosecutor on 20 June 2017.
A report in the The Washington Post said that the United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in late May, to post incendiary false quotes attributed to the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The report quotes unnamed US intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23, but the officials said it was unclear if the UAE hacked the websites or paid for them to be carried out, the newspaper reported.
The report said it was unclear whether Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt had also taken part in penetrating Qatari government websites.
The hacking took place on May 24, shortly after a lengthy meeting between US President Donald Trump and Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia.