NPR: Saudi Arabia continues to pursue dissidents, hacking their phones, killing...

NPR: Saudi Arabia continues to pursue dissidents, hacking their phones, killing...
NPR: Saudi Arabia continues to pursue dissidents, hacking their phones, killing...

London – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”:

The US National Public Radio website “NPR” published a report by Jackie Northam on Saudi Arabia’s prosecution of its opponents abroad. In it, she said that Saad al-Jabri knows the secrets, as the prominent official in the Saudi Ministry of Interior was a valuable partner of the American government, a man with access to many secrets and information related to the suspects with ties to terrorism and important information about the Saudi ruling family.

However, Al-Jabri angered the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and fled into exile in 2017, and since then, he is being pursued, he says. In August, he filed a federal lawsuit in the United States, accusing Mohammed bin Salman of using his two sons as a pressure card and forcing him to return to Saudi Arabia and that he had organized an attempted murder in North America. The attempt resembles a trend in other countries, and according to observers of the Saudi affairs, it shows a willingness by the Crown Prince to proceed with the pursuit of his rivals and opponents.

The researchers say that the attempts include pursuing those fleeing them outside Saudi Arabia, penetrating their mobile phones, as well as arresting their families in order to force them to return. It also includes silencing dissidents forever, as in the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who the CIA says that the order to assassinate him in Istanbul two years ago this month was issued by the Crown Prince, although the latter denies. And while al-Jabri was in Saudi Arabia, he was on the troublesome side of bin Salman, as he was an assistant to the former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and criticized some of his decisions, especially the failed campaign in Yemen.

Researchers say that the attempts include pursuing those fleeing them outside Saudi Arabia and penetrating their mobile phones, as well as arresting their families in order to force them to return.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who dealt with Al-Jabri in his new diary with “Boldness”, says: “Mohammed bin Salman was annoyed by Saad’s frankness,” al-Jabri, and “Mohammed bin Salman was concerned about what Saad knew regarding activities inside Saudi Arabia and was done in his shadow.” .

In 2017, Mohammed bin Salman overthrew his cousin, Muhammad bin Nayef, from the mandate of the Covenant and launched a campaign of arrests of princes, businessmen and officials at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. Al-Jabri had left Saudi Arabia for Turkey before these campaigns and ended up with his family to Toronto, Canada.

Saad al-Jabri refused to speak to the radio, but his son Khaled al-Jabri, a cardiologist who lives with his father in Toronto, spoke with her.

He said that after his departure from Saudi Arabia, his father received friendly text messages from the prince, including: “You know we disagree, but I want you to return to the government.” Khaled Al-Jabri comments: “It seemed as an attempt to clear the air and return to work as before,” and “We did not buy this talk.” The family thought it was a parent’s trap. Days later, the two sons of Jabri, who remained in Saudi Arabia, were banned from traveling. The tone of the text messages shifted from friendliness to aggression and threat. Khaled recalled a message: “He was threatening: You have an hour to tell us where you are and I will send a plane to take you. Otherwise, we will use all legal and other methods that will harm you. ”

Khaled added that his father kept the letters as evidence. Al-Jabri claims that Mohammed bin Salman tried to pursue and kill him during the past three years because he is aware of the Kingdom’s internal mechanism, its dealings and its security relations with the United States. According to the lawsuit, “Dr. Saad is considered in a unique position to be an existential threat to the position of the accused bin Salman and his relationship with the US government.” In the lawsuit, the lawsuit stated that, in mid-October 2018, the Crown Prince sent members of his “mercenaries” / “Tiger Squad” to pursue and kill al-Jabri. The attempt came two weeks after Khashoggi was killed and dismembered on October 2, 2018. Khaled says that his father got warnings from his former colleagues and American security officials and warned him not to approach any Saudi embassy. The lawsuit alleges that the Canadian authorities prevented the team members from entering Canada.

Khaled said that two members of the team carried in their bags “cleaning tools belonging to the same forensic department that cut Jamal’s body.” The Saudi embassy in Washington did not comment on questions from the radio. The Canadian authorities also did not respond except that Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in statements to the Canadian media: “We are aware of incidents in which foreign players attempted to monitor, provoke and threaten Canadians and those living in Canada.” And Saudi Arabia worked to encourage activists and dissidents to return by force to Saudi Arabia. It also worked to deport them by force, as it did with the activist Loujain Al-Hathloul.

To prevent criticism, Saudi officials have inundated social media platforms with pro-bin Salman messages, says Ron Deber, director of Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto who tracks dictatorial regimes’ use of malware. He said that the Saudi regime used people who were paid or “pressured by the regime to put up leaflets and content in support of them.” He added that the Saudi system has become skilled at following citizens electronically and on their mobile phones, so that it has been able to locate them and eavesdrop on their calls and learn the contents of their e-mail and their chatter on communication platforms.

They use these powerful means that have been sold to them to combat crime, protect national security, and so on, and they direct them against opponents of the regime and journalists who follow Saudi affairs.

“They use these powerful means that have been sold to them to combat crime, protect national security, and so on, and direct them against opponents of the regime and journalists who follow Saudi affairs” and “especially those who have a prominent presence on communication platforms or in the international media because they pose a threat to the credibility and legitimacy of the regime,” Dipper added. .

Two years ago, researchers in the “Citizen Lab” revealed that the phone of a Saudi activist living in Montreal had been hacked. Omar Abdel Aziz provides videos critical of the Saudi regime. He also had a close relationship with Khashoggi. Abdel Aziz said in previous statements to the radio in 2018: “Jamal was killed two months later, and certainly the dialogues between us played a role for what happened to him.”

In an article he wrote in the Washington Post, he said that Saudi authorities have arrested his relatives and friends to pressure him. He was monitored on Twitter, according to the US prosecutor, who last year issued charges against former employees of the company who obtained information about accounts in the company for Saudi Arabia. The lawsuit against Ali Al-Zubarah, a former Twitter employee, stated that he had accessed 6,000 users’ accounts, including Abdulaziz’s account. Charges were also brought against Ahmed Abu Ammo, who holds US citizenship and allegedly received $ 300,000 for providing information.

Ahmed Al-Mutairi, a Saudi citizen, was accused of espionage and described the case with the director of a media marketing company linked to the royal family. Adam Ereli, a former US ambassador to Bahrain, said putting Saudi employees on Twitter was part of a national strategy for Saudi Arabia. And “the goal of hacking Twitter by their clients was to obtain names and transfer addresses and contacts list of users in Saudi Arabia who were arrested.”

Even those who do not live in Saudi Arabia feel fear, like Ali Al-Ahmad, founder of the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, a critic of the Saudi ruling family: “I definitely feel fear. And every day I search under the car and look around the house ”and“ do everything in my power to protect myself and my family ”. Al-Jabri was unable to protect his family. In March, Saudi security forces arrested his daughter Sarah and his son Omar from his home in Riyadh. The US State Department described the arrest of Jabri’s relatives as unacceptable and pressured Saudi Arabia to release them. But the family has not heard of them since their arrest.

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