U.S. suspects Russian hackers behind Qatar-Saudi rift

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said Qatar's ruling emir will not leave the country while it is "in blockade", effectively meaning he can not take up Trump's offer of mediation, following the president's change of mind.

Reiterating comments by Gulf officials, Gargash told Reuters there was no plan to seek a change in Qatar's leadership, only a change in its policies.

In his second intervention in as many days, Trump urged action against terrorism in a call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday and offered help in resolving the crisis, including through a meeting at the White House.

The moves isolating Qatar are disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible jolt to the global gas market, where the Gulf state is a major player.

Financial support for jihadists across the Middle East lies at the heart of Arab powers' row with neighboring Qatar, an Emirati minister said on Wednesday, identifying three individuals his government wanted Doha to rein in.

"I don't see Qatar dropping Al Jazeera", says Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, a senior analyst at London-based IHS Markit.

Other names involving Egypt include more Brotherhood members and those once belonging to Gamaa Islamiya, an Islamist group that carried out a series of bloody attacks in Egypt in the 1990s before renouncing violence in 2000s.

In a nutshell, Qatar's government needs to demonstrate that it will abide by the agreements it has signed to bridge what UAE's Dr. Anwar Gargash has said is a clear "lack of trust".

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar on Wednesday threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy toward it with up to 15 years in prison, and barring entry to Qataris.

Back in 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in protest at what they called Doha's "interference in their internal affairs". Qatar can survive "forever" despite crisis, he added.

Qatar vehemently denies any such backing.

Tillerson demanded that Qatar, as well as the other countries, take steps to curtail support for terrorism.

On Monday, weeks after President Donald Trump's orb-embracing visit to the region, Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia suddenly broke diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Less than a week after celebrating - and taking credit for - the Persian Gulf states' ostracism of Qatar, the Trump administration is now scrambling to craft a coherent policy toward the region that won't imperil USA counterterrorism operations or alienate longtime allies.

Foreigners residing in Qatar in possession of a Qatari residence visa would also not be eligible for visas on arrival in the UAE, an Etihad spokesman said in an email.

A Qatari official, however, said the rift was pushing Doha in the direction of leaving the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, founded in 1981, "with deep regret".

"The Ministry said the investigation team confirmed that the piracy process had used high techniques and innovative methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency", the foreign ministry said in a statement. It provides a haven to anti-Western groups like the Afghan Taliban, Palestinian Hamas and Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front but says it does not accept its neighbors' view that any group with an Islamist background is terrorist.

  • Zachary Reyes