Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

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The United States intelligence officials believe hackers from Russian Federation had breached Qatar's state news agency to post a fake news report that is said to have prompted seven Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties with the Gulf state, CNN reported.

"I think in terms of the president's message in Riyadh, remember, was to motivate all of the Arab and Muslim nations worldwide and the Arab Muslim summit that all nations needed to take action against extremism and take action to also terminate the support, financial support, in any ways that they can", Tillerson said.

The United Arab Emirates, along with several other powerful Arab states, severed diplomatic ties with fellow Gulf state Qatar on Monday over its alleged support for Islamist groups and Iran.

On a daily basis, hundreds of refrigerated trucks from Saudi Arabia carrying milk, chicken, cheese, eggs and other perishables enter Qatar.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.

Qatar is an important U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, and serves as headquarters of the U.S. Central Command.

Around 10,000 military personnel are stationed at USA airbase Al-Udeid in Qatar.

President Donald Trump - who just returned from a trip to the Middle East and meetings with leaders from numerous countries involved with this - thrust himself into the chaos by seeming to take some credit for what happened to Qatar on Twitter.

On Monday, Qatar on its official Twitter account stated that Saudi Arabian Airlines.

He later tweeted: "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

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Trump's tweets Monday and Sunday calling for an even tougher travel ban in the wake of the London terror attacks and denouncing the judicial system as slow and political may undercut his case in court, legal experts said.

"However, let me make this clear: They have made progress, but they still have work to do".

"We are combating the funding for any terrorist group", Qatar Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani told CNN.

Energy-rich Qatar has long had strained ties with its neighbours but the move by Riyadh and its supporters shocked observers, raising fears the crisis could destabilise an already volatile region.

Two weeks ago, Qatar said its state-run news agency was hacked and that a fake story was posted that painted the country's leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as too friendly to Iran.

Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, rejecting those "trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs".

The United Arab Emirates has warned that anyone expressing sympathy for Qatar could face up to 15 years in prison, as a regional crisis escalates.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday dismissed Tuesday's CNN report containing the claim as "yet another fake, another lie". The risk is that Qatar "will start countering with policy measures in reaction to what has been announced", he said.

The consul general continues to call for calm among the more than 200,000 Filipinos working in Qatar as they continue to monitor the situation.

Qatar doesn't produce much of the food that it consumes, and the country is largely dependent on food from neighbouring countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

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Qatar has been put on notice by GCC countries Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt, Yemen, Libya, the Maldives and now Jordan and Mauritania.

"In this respect, we appreciate Qatar's constructive stance", he said.

Trump had appeared to side with Saudi Arabia and other countries against Qatar in a series of tweets Tuesday that seemed to endorse the accusation that Qatar funds terrorist groups.

The President suggested Qatar, which is a key United States ally, was funding extremism as he backed the diplomatic blockade of the emirate.

In the biggest face-off in the Gulf region in several decades, Saudi, UAE and Bahrain are among 10 countries to cut off or downgrade ties with Qatar.


Qatar is also a major regional diplomatic player and worldwide investor and is set to host the World Cup, football's biggest tournament, in 2022.

But Trump also specifically praised Qatar during the speech.

Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, said that "Saudi Arabia and the UAE have chose to put pressure on Qatar, which so far has seemed to refrain from pursuing equally harsh policies toward Iran". On its website, the carrier said the suspension of its flights took effect Tuesday and customers are being offered a refund.

The move came as Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states and Egypt, severed ties with Qatar. The Saudi ports authority said Qatari-flagged shipping vessels are barred from docking.

The air route between Doha and Dubai is popular among business travelers, and both are major transit hubs for travelers between Asia and Europe.

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"We're getting exhausted of reacting to unsubstantiated banalities", Andrei Krutskikh, a Kremlin advisor on cybersecurity, told the Interfax news agency.

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