Five people have been detained by the Turkish authorities for their connection to the hacking of Qatar News Agency (QNA), which took place in late May, HE the Attorney General Dr Ali bin Fetais al-Marri said on Friday.
He told QNA that as part of co-operation between Qatar and Turkey in combating cyber crime, the Turkish authorities detained five people involved in the hacking of QNA and broadcasting of false statements attributed to His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The Attorney General recalled that, after the hacking crime, Qatari authorities began investigations inside and outside the country. They contacted friendly countries and asked for help on the subject, given that electronic crimes do not recognise borders by their nature.
“Five people involved in the hacking are currently being interrogated,” HE Dr al-Marri stated while adding that all the details regarding the subject will be announced once the investigation is over, QNA reported.
Qatar had announced on June 20 that it had proof that the hacking of its state-run news agency and government social media accounts, which set off a major diplomatic crisis in the region, was linked to countries that have recently cut ties with it.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations and cut off land, air and sea links with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism" and advancing the agenda of their regional rival, Iran. Doha strongly denies the charges.
"Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack," HE Dr al-Marri had told a press conference in Doha on June 20.
Officials of Qatar's Ministry of Interior (MoI) had announced on July 20 they have evidence to prove the cyberattack on the country's official media originated from the UAE.
The attack on the website of QNA started as early as April 19 when professional hackers began to scan the site using VPN programmes to look for loopholes in the system, the technical investigation team of the MoI revealed.
The role of the UAE in the hacking has been widely reported both locally and internationally, and also confirmed by multiple American intelligence agencies. Both the Washington Post and NBC News, quoting US intelligence officials, have said the UAE arranged hacking of Qatari media.
The Post reported on July 16 that information from US intelligence officials showed that senior UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before the hacking occurred.