Saudi Arabia 'threatens' Canada with 9/11 style attack
August 07 2018 10:53 PM
Saudi
The tweet that appeared on the Twitter account @infographic_ksa

By Anthony Harwood/London Correspondent

*Official Saudi propaganda account mocks up a picture of a passenger plane being flown into the CN Tower in Toronto
*US calls for details of detained Saudi rights activists


A Saudi Arabia threat on Monday to carry out a 9/11-style attack on Canada has provoked a huge backlash.
A Twitter storm erupted when an official Saudi propaganda account mocked up a picture of a passenger plane being flown into the CN Tower in Toronto with the caption: ‘As the Arabic saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him’.
The Twitter account, which has 3,54,000 followers, also stuck another caption over the tower with the words: ‘Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong’.
The 1814-feet-high CN Tower is Canada’s most famous landmark, where 500 people work, and welcomes 1.5mn tourists every year.
It happened after a huge row erupted between the two countries over Canada’s criticism of Saudi Arabia for its continued jailing of women’s rights activists.
Saudi Arabia responded by freezing all new trade with Canada and expelling its ambassador over the ‘interference’ in the desert kingdom’s domestic affairs, saying it was a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
A spokesman said: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country."
In response, foreign ministry spokesman Marie-Pier Baril said Canada would “always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women’s rights, and freedom of expression around the world".
Among those detained by Riyadh is Loujain al-Hathloul, 28, who appeared with the Duchess of Sussex, then Meghan Markle, at a One Young World summit in Canada two years ago where they were pictured in a Vanity Fair photoshoot.
On Tuesday, the leading Saudi women’s rights campaigner Manal al-Sharif thanked Canada for ‘speaking up’ and asked when other Western powers would do the same.
Responding to the mock 9/11 threat, Elizabeth Tsurkov, a research fellow at the Israeli Forum for Regional Thinking, said: "This tweet by an official Saudi propaganda account has now been deleted.
"Seems like they realised that reminding us that 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi is not a great idea."

@zaidbenjamin said: "The graph raised concerns about an 9/11 reference. Of the 19 hijackers who took over the aeroplanes during the attack, 15 were form #SaudiArabia."
@MrMubin Shaikh said: "The fools at @infographic_ksa should immediately be fired. Threatening a 9/11 style attack on Toronto??? That is some GALL, wellll beyond diplomatic comments made about activists."

Aviation analyst Alex Macheras said the account was connected to the Saudi royal court.
Desperately trying to wriggle out of the gaffe, the Twitter account responsible, @infographic_ksa, apologised saying:
"Earlier we posted an image, which is why we deleted the post immediately. The aircraft was intended to symbolize the return of the Ambassador, we realise this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional. We apologise to anyone who was offended."
The accounts, which were followed by a number of Saudi diplomatic figures, were verified and largely shared government announcements and pro-Riyadh messages. The Twitter account had been described as “an official government” account in Saudi-owned state media, although the relationship to the Saudi state was not clear.
When hijackers flew planes into the twin World Trade Centre towers in New York and the Pentagon, a total of 2,977 people were killed. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi royals have long been accused of complicity in the attack.
Meanwhile, the US has asked Riyadh for details on detention of activists.
A Reuters report, quoting a State Department official, said the US has urged the Saudis to respect due process, in the first comments by Washington since the dispute erupted between Riyadh and Ottawa over the arrest of rights campaigners.
“We continue to encourage the Government of Saudi Arabia to respect due process and to publicise information on the status of legal cases,” the official added.

Last updated: August 08 2018 12:39 PM


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