Russian hackers behind Qatar crisis? U.S. intelligence experts say so

Russian hackers behind Qatar crisis? U.S. intelligence experts say so

Russian hackers behind Qatar crisis? U.S. intelligence experts say so

President Donald Trump injected the United States into a volatile crisis among America's Mideast allies, siding Tuesday with Saudi Arabia and other countries against Qatar in a dispute that threatens to disrupt efforts to defeat the Islamic State group and counter Iran.

The United Arab Emirates has banned people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and will punish offenders with a jail term of up to 15 years, the UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya reported on Wednesday.

Qatar has made great progress in tackling the funding of terrorist groups, but still has work to do, Nauert said.

Castaner said France doesn't intent to take sides.

If accurate, the allegations would indicate Russian efforts to undermine United States foreign policy, building on USA intelligence concerns that Russian hackers attempted to influence last year's presidential election, won by Trump.

Saudi Arabia's central bank advised banks in the kingdom not to trade with Qatari banks in Qatari riyals, sources said. (The Army's forward base is in Kuwait, and the Navy's is in Bahrain.) While the United States has expressed its concern over Qatar's ties to terror groups over the years, it has also stepped a little more cautiously in terms of public diplomacy.

The comments on Twitter - Trump's first about the rift between Qatar and major Arab nations over alleged support of Iran and Islamist groups - came as the leader of Kuwait was to meet in Saudi Arabia to try to mediate the dispute.

Saudi Arabia and others cut ties with Qatar this week, accusing it of supporting extremists.

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Saudi Arabia has closed its border with Qatar, the emirate's only land frontier, effectively blocking food imports and a segment of the country's exports.

"The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims", Qatar said in response to Monday's announcement.

Qatar vehemently denies the accusations against it, calling them baseless.

USA officials had said on Monday that the United States would quietly try to calm the waters between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, arguing that the small Gulf state was too important to US military and diplomatic interests to be isolated. Full details of these charter flights are available on Qatar Airways Travel Alert page. He said it was a direct result of Qatar Airways flights.

Hours later, Qatar Airways, which flies to nine cities in Saudi Arabia alone, announced it had suspended all flights to Saudi, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. It said Qatar is "promoting extremist thoughts and spreading chaos and disturbances across numerous Arab countries, resulting in big humanitarian miseries".

He says Qatar will need to close or limit its Al-Jazeera news network and stop funding extremists groups to end the crisis. Qatar also hosted direct Taliban talks when the Obama administration looked for a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan ... for all the good it did.

The Labor Secretary also cautioned OFWs, both living in Qatar and those intending to go there, that the crisis has sparked panic-buying of food supplies in fear of shortage.

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of a change in leadership in Qatar, which is embroiled in a major diplomatic crisis with its Gulf neighbors.

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