A report released by the New York Times on Saturday revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established spy teams, including former US National Security Agency (NSA) members, to spy on Qatar. The report claims that the team aims to demonstrate allegations that Qatar supports terrorism and funds the Muslim Brotherhood group.
A former NSA analyst, quoted by the newspaper, said that the UAE offered high salaries and a tax-free wealthy life. He said, “we were misled by double financial offers under the cover of working for an allied government of Washington”. According to his statements, he was firstly tasked to track political opponents of the UAE. Then, he and other team members were assigned to search for any links, if available, between the Qatari royal family and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The report also proclaimed that Qatar is not the only target of the UAE’s hacker team. They also hacked several international organizations and individuals, including high officials from FIFA and Twitter, while also following their flights and meetings. The mother of Qatari Emir, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser was among those hacked as well.
In 2019, there were also some reports that UAE hired US hackers to spy on Al Jazeera. The UAE has not yet responded to these allegations.