Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
Malicious software deployed through iPhones with IP address originating from neighbouring countries which have blockaded Qatar is behind the hacking of Qatar News Agency (QNA) and related social media accounts, HE the Attorney General Dr Ali bin Fetais al-Marri announced Tuesday.
"The investigation and evidence collection on the case have been conducted by the Ministry of Interior's (MoI) Information Systems Department, which comes under the cyber crimes division, in co-operation with global entities from the UK and the FBI of the US, who offered great support to the MoI, under the supervision of the Public Prosecution," he told a press conference.
HE Dr al-Marri recalled that the hacking took place on the main website of QNA and some related social media accounts, in particular that of HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and false statements attributed to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs were published.
"The fabricated statements were denied and described as false and untrue by the highest levels in the country through the Government Communication Office and HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs," the top official stressed.
"In such cases, the normal procedure is to contact the countries where the crime originated and get information about the hackers, but in such conditions they would not give information and the case is still open," he pointed out.
"Though investigations are still going on and evidences collected so far are confirmed, we want to reach the ultimate confirmation. These are complicated trans-regional cases that cannot be resolved without looking for the beneficiary from the crime. We have evidences that point to certain countries who have been contacted to see if they would respond to the request for co-operation. We are still waiting for the response."
HE the Attorney General reiterated the transparency of the investigation and affirmed that all results and updates will be announced to media as soon as they show up.
Asked about the list of 'wanted persons involved in terrorism,' as declared by the countries that have enforced the blockade on Qatar, he pointed out that such things should be governed by laws and UN Security Council regulations, rather than mood swings.
"Such lists should be based on legal texts about the targeted act, and include the specified crime with the set penalty and the related evidences, which do not apply to this list."
HE Dr al-Marri said that some of the persons in this list have no relations to Qatar and at one point they were respected and hailed by the media in the countries which have enforced the blockade.
Asked about the accusation of Qatar sending funds to Tunisia in 2011, he said Tunisia has always been a free country and never allow anybody to dictate its decisions. "What happened is that Tunisia asked Qatar for financial help to build refugee camps for the Libyans who fled the turmoil in the country at that time. Whatever Qatar has done is nothing but good," he stressed.
"What is good and beautiful about the current crisis is that 'I' have become 'We' and all the inhabitants of the country - Qataris and expatriates - from of all walks and nationalities, have shown their solidarity and love for the country and HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, stressing their steadfast stand against the difficulty," HE Dr al-Marri concluded.
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