Qatar State News Agency Hacked

"The Qatar News Agency (QNA) website has been hacked by an unknown entity".

Other Gulf nations reported the statements as authentic and rebuked Qatar for them.

It also published a statement saying that neighbouring countries will participate to find the hackers that caused the situation, causing tensions with Gulf countries, according to Sputnik news agency.

The retracted story also had quotes attributed to Tamim that stated that Qatar has good relations with Israel and that there is no wisdom in making an enemy out of Iran, the Middle East Eye reported. At the same time, the story attributed positive statements about Gaza-based extremist organisation Hamas to the ruler, which it called the "official representative of Palestinians".

"Iran represents a regional and Islamic power that can not be ignored and it is unwise to face up against it", the ticker read at one point.

A series of posts on the QNA's Twitter feed cited Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani as saying a plot to "discredit" the country had been uncovered. The tweets were later deleted.

Commenting on Qatar Academy Doha's 17th Graduation Ceremony, Buthaina Ali Al Nuaimi, President of PUE, QF, said: "Since it was founded in 1996 by H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir, and H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, Qatar Academy Doha has provided comprehensive and internationally recognized academic programs". He said Qatar "will hold all those committed accountable".

The government said the state TV footage posted online were "fake videos".

Both dismissed the Qatari claims of a hack.


Qatar has been targeted by hackers before, however. In 2012, a damaging virus crippled computer systems at Qatari natural gas producer RasGas soon after a similar attack on Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates responded to the episode by blocking all Qatari media, including al-Jazeera.

Internet users in Bahrain and Egypt said early Thursday that access had been cut off. Authorities there had no immediate comment. It declined to immediately comment further.

Qatar, home to the forward headquarters of the USA military's Central Command and some 10,000 American troops, long has faced criticism from its Arab neighbors over its support of Islamists.

Cairo accuses Qatar of supporting the Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in Egypt in 2013 when the military removed elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule.

On Wednesday, the website of the pan-Arab satellite broadcaster was not accessible in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Qatar has hosted some senior Hamas figures, including Khaled Meshaal, who was leader of the group until earlier this month.

The agency's official Twitter account has also been attacked.

The statement attributed to the emir focused on sensitive regional political issues with other nations in the region, including Iran and Israel, and also Doha's relationship with new US President Donald Trump.

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