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U.S. media: Qatar is engaged in hacking operations to intimidate its critics

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

WASHINGTON – American news website The Daily Caller published a lengthy article detailing how several Arab journalists were targeted by an extensive hacking operation allegedly carried out by Qatar for being critical of the Gulf nation and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Daily Caller obtained official Qatari government documents, which list the names of journalists Doha explicitly planned to target for hacking and espionage operations.

“Many of the targeted journalists were critical of the Gulf nation and its policies, are liberal in their political views or have criticized the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups that are supported by Qatar.” stated The Daily Caller.

The hacks were carried out as part of an extensive operation that targeted over 1,000 people in several countries between 2014 to 2018, including a range of victims from “Syrian human rights activists to Egyptian soccer players,” as previously reported by Bloomberg.

Among those journalist is Amjad Taha who explained how he was hacked and threatened by the Qatari government – over his criticism of the nation and its alleged support of terrorism – in an interview with The Daily Caller.

“I received direct threats from a Qatari intelligence officer who, on various occasions, asked me ‘where I am right now,’ while I was attending a Human Rights Council conference in Geneva.”

“He called me and threatened to blackmail me, promising to publish the content of some of my private emails if I continued to critique the Emir of Qatar personally on news networks for Doha’s financing of terrorism,” Taha continued.

“The Qatari regime uses their local newspapers to threaten us and ask people to target us,” he said. “Their Al Jazeera network claims they are about the opinion and the other opinion, but when we criticize them, their intelligence begins threatening us, hacking and defaming.”

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