Bahrain minister hacked hot on heels of Qatar cyberattack claim

Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa speaks during a press conference in the capital Manama on April 7, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 03 June 2017

Bahrain minister hacked hot on heels of Qatar cyberattack claim

DUBAI: Hackers took over the Twitter account of the Bahraini foreign minister on Saturday just 10 days after neighboring Qatar claimed its official news agency had been subject to a cyberattack.
The foreign ministry confirmed the hack, blaming it on the “terrorist party,” without elaborating.

The Bahraini Foreign Ministry issued a statement a few hours after the hacking incident saying that "the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain would like to clarify that the Twitter account of His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, was hacked today (Saturday) by a terrorist group attributing false tweets to H.E. the Minister."
The ministry affirmed that it is currently working on restoring the account.
The statement continued saying that the terrorist group "fears hearing the truth in the Minister’s tweets, which often exposes their terrorist nature."
All necessary measures will be taken to hold accountable the individuals behind this despicable act, according to the ministry.

The hackers also posted a fake report that Qatar had severed relations with several neighboring countries.
FBI experts are helping with the investigation, sources close to the case told AFP on Friday.


The news follows the alleged hacking of the Qatar News Agency, which saw pro-Iran statements posted, attributed to the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.


Some critics have however cast doubt over claims that the Qatar News Agency was subject to a cyberattack. Al Arabiya News Channel’s English website, for example, provided evidence that the agency was not subject to a hack.


In a related matter, it has been reported that Yousef Al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US, had his email account hacked. The Daily Beast reported that the hackers had been in contact to offer a sample of some of the emails.


Embassy spokeswoman Lamiyae Jbari confirmed to The Daily Beast that the Hotmail address in the emails belongs to Al-Otaiba.


Jbari said The Daily Beast’s phone call was the first the embassy had heard of the account being hacked and the contents leaked. “I’m sure you’re not the only one who received it,” Jbari told the website.


 With input from AFP

Global rights groups condemn deadly attack on Yemen jail

Updated 35 min 50 sec ago

Global rights groups condemn deadly attack on Yemen jail

  • Internationally-recognized government has accused Iranian-backed Houthi militia of carrying out the attack

LONDON: Two international rights groups on Monday condemned an attack on a prison in Yemen’s besieged city of Taiz that left six women and a child dead.

The internationally-recognized government has accused Iranian-backed Houthi militia of carrying out Sunday’s attack.

The Houthis targeted the female section of the prison with mortar shells, according to the government’s Saba news agency.

“This is a criminal and bloodthirsty gang that has long targeted civilian gatherings and residential areas. In addition to the carnage in the prison, they gunned down today two children in eastern Taiz, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition,” Abdul Basit Al-Baher, a Yemeni army spokesman in Taiz, told Arab News, adding that the prison is almost 12km from the nearest battlefield.

“They targeted the prison with a Katyusha rocket followed by five mortal shells which show that they deliberately sought to kill civilians.”

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its hospital in Taiz received the casualties.

“MSF-supported Al-Thawra Hospital in Taiz city received the bodies of six women and one child who were killed in an attack on the central prison in Taiz,” it said on Twitter.

The government said 28 other female prisoners were wounded.

“Taiz citizens continue to suffer from the ongoing violence in the sixth year of the protracted conflict in Yemen,” MSF said.

“These attacks on civilians, whether indiscriminate or targeted, are unjustifiable breaches of international humanitarian law.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross said attacks on prisons were banned under international law.

“The ICRC deplores yesterday’s attack on Taiz central prison that left women and children dead and injured,” the ICRC said on Twitter.

“Prisons and their inmates are protected under international humanitarian law and can not be a targeted, it said.

Meanwhile, the UN's envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths condemned the attack on Twitter, saying: "I condemn the heinous attack on Taiz's central prison which killed and injured several women and children.Civilians and civilian objects including prisons must be protected as per international humanitarian law."

The attack was also blasted by the International Committee for the Red Cross in Yemen.

Taiz, a city of 600,000 people in southwest Yemen, is under government control but has been under siege by Houthi militia for the past six years.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been killed in more than five years of fighting.

Yemen’s health care system has so far recorded no case of the COVID-19 illness, but aid groups have warned that when it does hit, the impact will be catastrophic. The country is already gripped by what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

(With AFP)