Doha says 5 suspects detained in Turkey over Qatar News Agency hacking

Qatar's Attorney General Ali bin Fetais al-Marri speaks after the launch of the Compensation Claims Committee during a press conference in Doha on July 9, 2017. Qatar announced it was establishing a committee to pursue compensation claims potentially worth billions of dollars over the country's "blockade" by Gulf states. Marri said the Compensation Claims Committee would deal with cases including major companies, such as Qatar Airways, and individual students who have been expelled from the countries in which they were enrolled. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Qatar’s Attorney General Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri said on Saturday that Turkey has detained five suspects in connection with the hacking of Qatar’s state news agency (QNA) in May which sparked a diplomatic crisis in Gulf region.

Speaking to QNA on Saturday, al-Marri said “Our friends in Turkey answered us a short time ago. Five people were detained and they are being investigated. Qatari prosecutors are working with Turkish authorities to follow this case,” Reuters reported.

The hacking helped precipitate the diplomatic rift that has since opened up between Qatar and some of its powerful Arab neighbors.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar in June over comments briefly posted on the Qatar News Agency attributed to its ruler in which he allegedly praised their arch-foe Iran.

Qatar said Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani did not make the statements and that hackers had posted a false story on QNA.

Marri has said Qatar has evidence that the hack was linked to countries that have severed ties with Doha for allegedly supporting Islamist militant groups and advancing the agenda of their arch-rival Iran in the region – charges Doha denies.

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