US report claims UAE government started Qatar crisis with fake news

US report claims United Arab Emirates government placed false story which started Gulf crisis by hacking Qatari government news websites

The government in Abu Dhabi (pictured) has denied this claim via its ambassador

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Washington Post has claimed the current diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf was orchestrated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Five countries - the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Yemen - cut ties with Qatar over claims it had destabilished the Gulf by supporting extremist groups.

The American news outlet has published a report which claims the UAE hacked Qatari government news websites in order to plant a false news story and thus create a trigger for the crisis. 

The story is reported to have falsely quoted the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, claiming he'd called Iran an "Islamic power" and he'd praised Hamas. 

The Washington Post claims to have learned this from US intelligence officials, who had acquired information supposedly showing UAE officials meeting to plan the hack. 

The UAE has denied this, with the ambassador for the country, Yousef al-Otaiba, saying the reports were false.

Qatar has maintained its websites were hacked, but the crisis in the Gulf continues to escalate.