The New York Times: Saudi Arabia accused of threatening opponents with fake accounts

The complaint, released in federal court in Brooklyn, accuses a Saudi national of lying to U.S. federal officials. It says he used an anonymous Instagram account to harass and threaten opponents.

In her report The New York Times explained Ibrahim Al-Hussein, 42, is accused of lying to federal officials about using the account to intimidate Saudi citizens living in the US and Canada who are known to be critical of Saudi Arabia.

In 2019, the Justice Department accused two Twitter employees with access to users’ personal information of obtaining information about both US citizens and Saudi dissidents who opposed the country’s policies in order to help the kingdom.

The New York Times stated that “The complaint states that Al-Hussein, starting around the same year (2019), had been in regular contact with a Saudi citizen at the Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in charge of sports, the Saudi Sports Commissioner Arabia. , Turki Al-Sheikh, who is one of the closest advisers to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The newspaper pointed out that “Al-Hussein sent special messages in English and Arabic to deliver warnings such as: ‘If your family has not grown well, we will punish you’ and ‘Mohammed bin Salman will wipe you from the face of the earth.’ land, you will see” in relation to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the complaint.”

The New York Times report added: “It was not immediately clear whether Al-Hussein appointed a lawyer, whether he had lived in the United States since at least 2013 on a student visa, and whether he was recently arrested after a warrant was issued last Saturday. for arrest. .”

And further in the report: “One of the women the prosecution called stalkers lives in New York and criticized the Saudi sports commissioner Al-Sheikh. If only he could meet her first.”
The New York Times quoted officials as saying he was likely seeking “more to follow and harass women” while the Sports Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Turki Al-Sheikh, who was not named in the complaint. .

Prosecutors pointed out that “Al-Hussein also showed a clear interest in the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, taking snapshots of Twitter posts before his death and keeping pictures of him on his phone this year,” the newspaper reported.

And The New York Times pointed out that “among those accused of being threatened by Al-Hussein, a Saudi woman who renounced Islam and sought asylum in Canada,” the complaint stated that he “sent ominous messages to her in 2020 asking about her mother, and also wrote to her ex-fiance with comments such as “Do you think you’ll be safe?”

Officials said he “told another Saudi woman who was seeking asylum in the United States while her family was trying to kill her that he hoped to spit in her face as she disagreed with Saudi policy online, and Al “Hussein commented on her account in February 2020 that he hopes to get her.” According to the newspaper, the same fate “Nada Al-Qahtani, who was killed by her brother’s bullets while she was riding a bus through the city.”

And The New York Times said in its report that “Al-Hussein was charged with concealing material facts and making false statements after prosecutors said he had no social media accounts in three voluntary interviews with federal agents in period from June 2021 to January. this year”.

Source: The New York Times.

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