Intel officer: Qatar behind ‘fake’ UAE social media accounts to stir up trouble
Qatar is behind “fake” UAE social media accounts aimed at creating rumors and disrupting the Gulf country, a Qatari intelligence officer, Hamad Ali Muhammad Ali Al-Hammadi, said in an interview aired Thursday at two TV stations in the UAE.
Hammadi, 36, said the Qatari intelligence was in charge of these phony accounts during the interview broadcasted at the Abu Dhabi TV and Emarat TV channels.
He said the intelligence’s digital department was behind the “creation” of bo3oskor1 and Ganas Al-Shimal social media accounts among others, which were “offensive to the UAE and its leadership.”
During the broadcast, Hammadi recalled how his supervisor Lieutenant Colonel Jassim Abdullah handed him 25,000 Qatari Riyals ($6,806) to purchase UAE sim cards and place five thousand Qatari Riyals in credits in each.
“I asked about the reasons, he [colonel] said execute and do not discuss,” he said without specifying the year.
From Qatar, Hammadi drove to the Saudi Salwa border crossing where he purchased Saudi sim cards. Soon after entering Saudi Arabia, he started driving to reach Ghuwayfat border crossing to enter the UAE where he purchased five sim cards and four cell phones without being asked to show an ID.
The UAE later discovered the plot following the stirrings created by the Qatari phony social media accounts posing as UAE nationals.
Hammadi was arrested and received a 10-year sentence after a UAE trial in 2015. Hammadi’s four other superiors were handed out life sentences in absentia.
The UAE government in the spirit of “friendly neighborliness”, however, forgave Hammadi.