Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) United States (US) Gina Cheri Haspel met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Saudi Arabia. The visit of the American intelligence boss took place on Thursday after two former Twitter employees were charged in the US on charges of spying for Saudi royal families.
Two former Twitter employees were part of three people charged with spying on Twitter users who criticized the royal family. The three, according to the court, supplied personal information of critics of the royal family in exchange for money.
According to the SPA quoted by Reuters on Friday (11/08/2019), the meeting which took place in Riyadh was also attended by the Foreign Minister and the Minister of the Interior of Saudi Arabia and the US Ambassador to the kingdom.
“King Salman received Gina Haspel, Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, to discuss the longstanding Saudi-US partnership, and to review a number of regional and international developments,” the American Embassy in Riyadh wrote on Twitter via the @SaudiEmbassyUSA account.
A senior Saudi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the kingdom had not seen criminal complaints related to three people charged in the US as spies for the royal family.
But all I can say is that we hope that all our citizens comply with the laws of the country where they live,” the official told reporters in Washington.
According to the Washington Examiner report, this is the first time the Department of Justice has openly accused Saudis of spying on the United States.
The three men charged in the US are Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo – who used to work for Twitter – as well as a man named Ahmed Almutairi. They face charges of working for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without registering as a foreign agent.
According to the US Department of Justice, Abouammo was arrested in Seattle, Washington. While the other two people are in Saudi Arabia.
Abouammo was ordered to remain behind bars by a US judge on Wednesday while awaiting a detention hearing for Friday. The US Attorney’s Office said in court that Abouammo would be detained because the postponement of the trial would pose a serious risk of escape.
Saudi Arabia – a key US ally in the face of Iran – has faced strong Western criticism of its human rights record, including the matter of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year and his involvement in a devastating war in Yemen. ( Source)