U.S. officials believe that Russian hackers planted a fake news story in Qatar’s state news agency, CNN reported Tuesday, citing U.S. officials.
The FBI sent investigators to Doha recently to aid the Qatari government in probing the reported incident, officials told CNN.
U.S. officials said that intelligence indicated Russian hackers were behind the intrusion that Qatar’s government reported two weeks ago, according to the network. The alleged hack has contributed to divisions among key U.S. allies in the Gulf.
Qatar first reported the alleged hack of its state media outlet Qatar News Agency in late May, which resulted in a purported fake story being posted about controversial statements made by the ruling emir of Qatar appearing to positive toward Iran and Israel. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blocked Qatari media over the statements.
Tensions in the region have run high in recent days, with four Arab nations cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar this week, citing Qatar’s alleged support for terror groups and its relations with Iran.