The U.S. Justice Department has accused two former Twitter employees of spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia, the newspaper The Washington Post. U.S. citizen Ahmad Abuammo was arrested for gaining illegal access to three accounts, and Saudi Arabian citizen Ali Alzabar was accused of gaining access to the data of 6 thousand social network accounts in 2015.
Another citizen of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Almutairi, was charged with espionage. According to the US, he was an intermediary between Saudi officials and Twitter staff. It is assumed that both Saudi citizens are now in the kingdom.
"We will not allow American companies or American technology to become instruments of foreign repression in violation of American law," US Attorney David Anderson told the newspaper.
This is the first time that prosecutors have publicly accused Saudi Arabia of spying in the United States, the newspaper writes. A source in The Washington Post said the defendants were reporting Bader Al Asaker’s data from a non-profit MiSK fund. The newspaper claims that it belongs to the crown prince of the kingdom, Mohammed bin Salman.
One of the hacked accounts allegedly belonged to Omar Abdulaziz. He criticized Saudi Arabia and was friends with The Washington Post columnist Jamal Hashkaji, who was killed in 2018 at the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.
Read more about the murder in the article "Kommersant" "Dead journalist has become more dangerous than living."