Qatar Flag - File photo
CAIRO – 9 November 2017: Qatari Attorney General Ali bin Fetais Al-Marri has accused one of the Gulf states boycotting Qatar of hacking Qatar’s News Agency (QNA) in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV carried out on Wednesday.
Marri said that he cannot reveal the name of the state that hacked the agency as investigations are stressing that Qatar is transparent in handling information.
“Penetrating QNA is a crime that should be punished by international laws,” Marri stated.
Asked about the Gulf crisis and the siege imposed on his country, he added that the Gulf states are breaking all international laws, noting that Qatar is taking international legal measures against the economic, social and political crimes committed by boycotting countries.
Furthermore, Qatar had previously accused countries that have severed ties with Doha of hacking Qatar’s state news agency in June. The allegations surfaced in May after the news agency published statements allegedly made by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani cautioning against confronting Iran and defending the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi‘ite movement allied with Tehran, according to Reuters.
Later in July, Qatar alleged that the United Arab Emirates was behind the hacking of its state news agency. The Washington Post was reported claiming that government officials in Abu Dhabi planted a fabricated story in Qatari media in May.
However, the UAE’s Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash told an audience at London think tank Chatham House there was no truth to the allegations made by both Qatar and The Washington Post.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspaces were cut off to Qatari vessels. Since then, Kuwait has played the role of mediator to put an end to this rift. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held several meetings with the disputed parties, but the discussions have not yet led to a settlement.
The Arab countries listed 13 demands to be met by Qatar, including severing ties with terrorist groups, closing down the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite channel, downgrading ties with arch-rival Iran and the closure of the Turkish air base in Qatar.
With the passing of nearly five months of the Arab crisis with Doha, the tiny Gulf emirate of Qatar insisted on its stubborn policy of strengthening relations with Iran and Turkey.
Qatar ignores the demands set by the Arab countries, which include downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish airbase in Qatar.