Qatar Accuses UAE of Violation of International Law for Hacking Its State News Agency

UAE FM Anwar Gargash denied as false the story in the Washington Post that cited U.S. officials saying the UAE had orchestrated the hack of Qatar's state news agency

People walk by the sea in Doha, Qatar, in 2012.
Qatar accuses UAE of violation of international law for hacking its state news agency. Pictured: People walk by the sea in Doha, Qatar, in 2012. Kamran Jebreili/AP

The United Arab Emirates was not responsible for an alleged hack of Qatari websites which helped spark a month-long diplomatic rift with Doha, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs said on Monday.

Anwar Gargash denied as false a story in the Washington Post that cited U.S. officials saying the UAE had orchestrated the hack of Qatar's state news agency.

"The Washington Post story today that we actually hacked the Qataris is also not true," he told the London-based think-tank Chatham House.

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, was quoted in May as praising Gaza's ruling Hamas movement and calling Iran an "Islamic power".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, cutting diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny Gulf monarchy, after accusing it of financing militant groups and allying with their regional arch-foe Iran. Doha denies the accusations.

However, Gargash said the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar.

Qatar responed after, saying it believed the media report, citing U.S. officials,  that the United Arab Emirates had hacked its state news agency in late May which helped spark a diplomatic rift between Doha and its neighbours.

"The information published in the Washington Post ... revealed the involvement of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and senior Emirati officials in the hacking of Qatar News Agency," its government communication office said in a statement.

The report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place" and it is "a violation of international law."