The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday charges against two former Twitter employees for allegedly spying for Saudi Arabia which analysts believe is the first time that the United States government has accused Saudi Arabia of spying in the United States.
The two former Twitter employees that were charged are Ahmad Abouammo, who reportedly is a U.S. citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, who is a Saudi citizen.
In a statement, the DOJ wrote that the “information could have been used to identify and locate the Twitter users who published these posts.”
Prosecutors alleged that Abouammo “spied on the accounts of three users — including one whose posts discussed the inner workings of the Saudi leadership – on behalf of the government in Riyadh,” The Washington Post reported. Abouammo was also charged for allegedly “falsifying an invoice to obstruct an FBI investigation.
Prosecutors accused Alzabarah of “accessing the personal information of more than 6,000 Twitter accounts in 2015 on behalf of Saudi Arabia,” The Post added. “One of those accounts belonged to a prominent dissident, Omar Abdulaziz, who later became close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was killed by Saudi government agents last year.” (Read more from “Report: Ex-Twitter Employees Charged for Spying for Saudi Arabia” HERE)