Former Twitter Employee Found Guilty of Spying for Saudi Arabia

    Image copyright: SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images [via Axios]

    The Facts

    • A federal jury in San Francisco on Wed. convicted a former Twitter employee, Ahmad Abouammo, on charges related to spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

    • The court found the US-Lebanese citizen had acted as an unregistered agent of the Saudi government by supplying dissident information to Bader al-Asaker, a close adviser to Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Abouammo received money and goods worth at least $320K for spying and conspiracy, handed over dissidents against the brutal Saudi regime straight to its dictators, and violated privacy and data rights. This case is a clear win for the Justice Department.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    This isn't a win for anyone, but rather a distraction from what's really a botched investigation that allowed two other suspects to escape. Abouammo is merely a convenient scapegoat for the government's failings.

    Cynical narrative

    Not only does Saudi Arabia remain one of the world's worst human rights abusers, it has continued to conduct a brutal war on Yemen that has killed an estimated 400K and was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Why does the US keep playing supplicant to this evil regime?

    Establishment split



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