Saudi FM: 'Brother State' Qatar Must Act to End Crisis

Those two, Sa'd al-Ka'bi and Abd al-Latif al-Kawari, are among dozens of individuals and entities named Friday by Saudi Arabia and its three allies.

"The President underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability", the document said.

Qatar also is the home to the regional headquarters of US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for the wars in Middle East. CENTCOM has said its operations have not been interrupted since the crisis erupted earlier this week.

After Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) closed their airspace, only one narrow route remains for Qatari carriers to transport passengers - via Iran. Six other governments also have suspended diplomatic ties.

Analysts say the crisis is in part an extension of a 2014 dispute, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha over Qatari support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

A clearly furious Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded on Twitter Thursday, describing Trump's statement as "repugnant".

"They need us as much as we need them", a third USA official said.

Egyptian officials say the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors has yet to affect the 300,000 Egyptian workers in the tiny, energy-rich country, amid fears they could be expelled or stranded.

President Donald Trump appeared to praise the Arab states' move, tweeting that during his recent Mideast trip, he had "stated that there can no longer be funding of radical ideology". "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

Al-Jazeera offices have been shut down by authorities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The London-based news website Raialyoum related the incident, with several comments made by Israeli politicians and media outlets praising the six Arab countries' breaking off of relations with Qatar.

Doha is a major global travel hub, but flag carrier Qatar Airways now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey after being blocked elsewhere in the Middle East.

Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when USA defense officials renewed praise of Doha, mindful of the major US military base hosted by Qatar that serves, in part, as a launch-pad for strikes on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

One U.S. intelligence official said that while Russia has the expertise and an incentive to sow division among Arab states allied with the United States, Russian hackers were available for hire to other countries and criminal groups.

CNN reported that U.S. investigators assisting the Qatari government in their probe into the alleged hacking believe that Russian Federation was behind the breach in May.

It's not clear whether the United States has tracked the hackers in the Qatar incident to Russian criminal organizations or to the Russian security services blamed for the USA election hacks.

As an important trade partner of Turkey, Qatar has so far invested 2.2 billion US dollars in the transcontinental country, with investments on the rise in the past four years. And on Wednesday, the African nation of Mauritania joined them.

Trump responded to the unprecedented terror attacks, which killed at least 13 people in the Iranian capital, with a coded statement that said he was praying for the victims - and blamed Iran for its own woes.