Investigation Confirms Qatar News Agency Was Hacked

Turkey's parliament on Wednesday approved deploying troops to a Turkish base in Qatar under a previously agreed plan, in a move seen as a sign of support for Doha.

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain are among several states that this week cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, in the worst crisis to hit the Gulf in recent years.

According to some USA government officials, Russian Federation has played a key role in the recent breakdown of relations between Qatar on the one hand and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and their dependents (such as Bahrain, the Hadi government in Yemen, and General Haftar in eastern Libya) on the other.

"Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber-attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms", it said on Twitter on Thursday.

He also said Qatar's ruling emir will not leave the country while it is "in blockade", so he can't attend an offered mediation by U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how "restore the normal relations" of the Gulf. Qatar has strongly refuted the allegations.

The call with Qatar's emir showed Trump trying to personally involve himself in resolving the conflict.

The Arab countries also announced that they would cut air, sea, and land links with Qatar, marking the biggest regional rift in decades.

Bahrain is warning the island's media outlets not to "publish or circulate anything that condones or justifies Qatari policies by any means".

The UAE threatened anyone publishing expressions of sympathy towards Doha with up to 15 years in prison and barring entry to Qataris.

Bahrain already has shut down what many believe is its only independent newspaper and refused to accredit journalists, including two from The Associated Press.

A Qatari official had no immediate comment on the designations but said that Qatar adheres to United Nations Security Council resolutions on countering terrorism including eradicating sources of financing for terrorism. President Trump's initial support for actions against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others certainly gave Putin an opportunity to get closer to the suddenly isolated emirate.

Al Thani also denied any Qatari involvement in a separate hack of emails belonging to the UAE's Washington ambassador, which have surfaced at various news agencies this week.

Asian football officials are monitoring the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab states, hoping to minimise the impact on global competitions being played in the Gulf region.

"No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy", Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told AFP.

Putin had a telephone conversation with the emir of Qatar Tuesday, urging dialogue.

The Arab states accuse Qatar, a gas-rich emirate at the Saudi border, of supporting extremism.

"The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when USA defence officials renewed praise of Doha, mindful of the major U.S. military base hosted by Qatar that serves, in part, as a launchpad for strikes on Islamic State jihadists.

"There are numerous uncertainties regarding Qatar's response, the extent to which these measures will be imposed, and their longevity", said the ratings agency.

The biggest concentration of United States military personnel in the Middle East is at Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base.

In the interview, Al Thani confirmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping Qatar investigate a hack of its state-run news agency last month that may have been a catalyst for the crisis.

  • Zachary Reyes