U.S. officials believe Russia is behind a hack on the Qatar News Agency that helped spur the diplomatic crisis between the country and its neighbors in the Middle East, CNN reports. A bogus news report planted by hackers attributed false statements to the country’s ruler, including statements favorable to Iran and Israel, and a comment questioning whether President Donald Trump would last in office. The FBI is helping to investigate the hack.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cut off ties with Qatar, reportedly disrupting trade and travel in the region. Trump initially praised the move on Twitter, despite Qatar being seen as a U.S. ally that hosts a significant U.S. military presence in the region. State Department officials later appeared to backpedal from the presidential remarks, saying the country has made progress on fighting terrorism.
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017