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Russian hackers may have put out fake info that helped spark Gulf crisis

Russian hackers and Qatar
Russian hackers and Qatar 02:16

Russian hackers are suspected of interfering with a news site in Qatar and may have put out fake information that helped spark a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, CBS News has learned.

The false story released via a Qatari site is being blamed as a catalyst behind the regional tensions, which have been long-simmering but recently spiked in the wake of President Trump's visit, CBS News' Margaret Brennan reports.

The FBI and British authorities are currently investigating the alleged hack and results could come as soon as this week.

On Wednesday, Russia dismissed the allegations.

"Whatever happens it is hackers. It's a stale claim and as ever there is zero evidence, and conclusions are drawn before the incident is even investigated," a Kremlin advisor on cybersecurity, Andrei Krutskikh, told the Interfax news agency.

Meanwhile, Kuwait tried to mediate a resumption of diplomatic and commercial ties between Qatar and several of its Arab neighbors Tuesday, while Mr. Trump appeared to back those isolating the energy-rich nation over allegations it supports terror groups and Iran.

Gulf diplomatic crisis 05:42

Qatar long has denied funding extremists, and its foreign minister struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after worried residents emptied grocery stores in its capital, Doha.

Qatar relies heavily on food imports, especially those coming over its only land border with Saudi Arabia, which joined with other key Arab powers Monday in cutting off land, sea and air routes into the country.

"On this scale, it's unprecedented," said Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi historian of Gulf Affairs and Women's Studies at Qatar University.

CBS News' Andy Triay contributed to this report.

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