DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar has released an initial report into the alleged hack of its state-run news agency, an incident which helped spark a diplomatic crisis between the energy-rich country and Arab nations.
The Qatari Interior Ministry said late Wednesday that the website of the Qatar News Agency was initially hacked in April with “high techniques and innovative methods.”
It said hackers installed a file and then published a fake news item attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, just after midnight May 24.
The ministry did not say who it suspected carried out the attack. It also thanked the FBI and the British National Commission for Combating Crime for assisting it in its investigation.
The alleged fake news item, which had Sheikh Tamim making controversial comments on Iran and Israel, was immediately picked up by Saudi and Emirati media, laying the groundwork for the crisis that began Monday.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt and Yemen have all cut ties to Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror.
Kuwait’s emir has traveled to Qatar and met that country’s leader as part of his efforts to mediate an end to a crisis that’s seen Arab nations cut ties to the energy-rich country and attempt to isolate it.
Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah was met planeside by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, when he arrived on Wednesday night.
The two held talks, though details of their discussions were not released. Sheikh Sabah earlier Wednesday traveled to Dubai where he met with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as prime minister and vice president of the UAE.
Sheikh Sabah also has traveled to Saudi Arabia in his efforts.
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