updated 1:42 PM MDT, Jun 27, 2017

Middle East:Hackers target al-Jazeera as Qatar crisis deepens

The headquarters of al-Jazeera in the Qatari capital of Doha. The network said it remained fully operational.

Pan-Arab satellite network al-Jazeera is fighting a large-scale cyber-attack but remained fully operational, a company source said on Thursday.

“There were attempts made on the cybersecurity of al-Jazeera but we are combatting them,” said a senior employee who declined to be named.

    Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish)

    BREAKING: Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms. More soon: https://t.co/9o3ihGGVjD pic.twitter.com/ZlBBEpTDf6
    June 8, 2017

Hours later, Qatar’s state-run television also announced that it had shut down its website temporarily “for security reasons” after hacking attempts, it said on its Twitter feed.
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  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Kuwait's emir meets with Qatari leader amid diplomatic rift

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Kuwait's emir traveled to Qatar to help mediate an end to a crisis that's seen Arab nations cut ties to the energy-rich nation home to a major U.S. military base, though Emirati officials warned there was "nothing to negotiate."

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 Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how "restore the normal relations" of the Gulf as the 2022 FIFA World Cup host and international air travel hub now finds itself isolated by land, sea and air.

But the visit came after Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told The Associated Press that Qatar has "chosen to ride the tiger of extremism and terrorism" and now needed to pay the price, despite Qatar long denying the allegation.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Senegal recalls its Ambassador from Qatar

The West African nation of Senegal is recalling its ambassador from Qatar, joining several Middle Eastern countries that have cut diplomatic ties in recent days.

The announcement was made public Wednesday, a day after a similar decision was announced by the neighboring country of Mauritania to the north.

A statement from the Senegalese Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was acting in solidarity with other countries in the Gulf who have cut diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the country’s alleged funding of terrorist groups and friendly ties with Iran.

Karim Wade, the son of Senegal’s former president, has been living in Qatar for nearly a year since his release from prison where he served time for corruption charges.

Sources: AP

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Russian hackers to blame for sparking Qatar crisis, FBI inquiry finds

Gulf state has been isolated by its neighbours after freelance hacking operation aimed at discrediting emir over his links to Islamist groups

Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar.
Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar.
Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad international airport in Doha, Qatar. Photograph: Hadi Mizban/AP
Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor/Gurdian
A joint investigation by the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Agency has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.

It is believed that the Russian government was not involved in the hacks; instead, freelance hackers were paid to undertake the work on behalf of some other state or individual. Some observers have claimed privately that Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates may have commissioned the hackers.
US officials scramble to limit Donald Trump's diplomatic damage over Qatar tweets

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain launched an unprecedented campaign to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically over links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Iran. All four countries withdrew their ambassadors. They also launched an economic blockade, including denial of air space, leading to panic-buying in the capital, Doha.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East