The United Arab Emirates arranged for Qatari government social media and news sites to be hacked in late May in order to post false quotes linked to Qatar's emir, prompting the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic crisis, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing USA intelligence officials.
In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism". It quoted him praising Hamas and Iran - ideological foes of other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council.
"The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true", Anwar Gargash told London-based think tank Chatham House on Monday.
New details concerning recent crisis in the Persian Gulf are being revealed while the regional conflict escalates further despite global efforts.
USA officials cited by the Washington Post said that, on May 23, officials identified as senior members of the "UAE government held a discussion about the hacking and its implementation". Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi.
Mattis' comments come following remarks made by US President Donald Trump during an interview to CBN News on Wednesday, in which he said if his country had to leave the airbase in Qatar there would be "ten countries willing to build us another one, believe me, and they will pay for it".
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Qatari government spokesperson Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani said at the time the postings were false and the result of a hack by an "unknown entity". "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", he added. Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to Washington, said in a statement that his country "had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking", describing the article as "false", the Post said.
Qatar has been accused of funding terrorist groups and of allying with Iran, allegations that Doha denies. This was followed nearly immediately by a trade embargo and the closing of all air, land and see borders to Qatar, effectively leaving Qatar in its current isolated state.
The agreement between Doha and Washington was signed during U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson's four-day mediation mission to try and end the rift between Qatar and its neighbours, now in its second month.
"We've sent a message to Qatar".
Qatar rejected the demands, insisting that the list was so draconian that it was created to be turned down.