‘Qatar’s hacking claim hard to swallow’

‘Qatar’s hacking claim hard to swallow’

Sheikh Tamim
Sheikh Tamim

Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh — Qatar’s claim that hackers allegedly broke into the website of its state-run news agency on Wednesday and published a “fake story” quoting the ruling emir making controversial comments has been questioned by IT experts.

The alleged fake article quoted Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani as calling Iran an “Islamic power” and saying Qatar’s relations with Israel were “good” during a military ceremony.

The Qatari state television’s nightly newscast on Tuesday showed clips of Sheikh Tamim at the ceremony. A scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen had the alleged fake remarks.

They included calling Hamas “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” as well as saying Qatar had “strong relations” with Iran.

AlArabiya.net rebutted the hacking claim point-by-point.

Qatari TV showed Tamim’s statements in the scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen hours before the hacking claims, AlArabiya.net said.

Qatari News Agency (QNA) published Tamim’s statements in Arabic on its Instagram account, which has a security system that is extremely difficult to hack.

QNA published Tamim’s statements at dawn on its Instagram account in English. Then the whole account was deleted.

QNA published Tamim’s statements on its Google+ account, which is difficult to hack.

Sheikh Tamim in the speech to the military graduation ceremony was critical of renewed tensions with Tehran, expressed understanding for Hezbollah and Hamas, and suggested Trump might not last long in power.

The incident happened days after Qatar complained it was the target of “an orchestrated barrage” of criticism by unknown parties in the run-up to Trump’s visit alleging the Gulf state supported militant groups in the Middle East.