(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- A former Twitter employee arrested in 2019 was convicted last week on 6 charges, including failing to register as an agent for Saudi Arabia after he accessed private data on Twitter users who were critical of the Saudi government.
Ahmad Abouammo, the former media partnership manager for Twitter’s Middle East division was charged in 2019 with acting as an agent of Saudi Arabia without registering with the government, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Last week, a San Francisco jury found him guilty on six counts, including violating FARA, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was acquitted on five additional counts involving wire fraud.
This was the first case in which Saudi Arabia has been linked to spying in the United States.
According to the 2019 FBI complaint, Abouammo along with Saudi national, Ali Alzabarah, who worked as a Twitter engineer, used their positions at the company to dig up information on Saudi dissidents by accessing confidential user data, including email addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses.
A third man named in the complaint, Saudi national Ahmed al-Mutairi, allegedly worked as an intermediary for the Saudi royal family.
The complaint alleged that over 6,000 Twitter users had their data accessed, including at least 33 users for whom Saudi authorities had submitted emergency disclosure requests to Twitter.
Prosecutors said Abouammo, a dual US/Lebanese citizen, received at least $300,000 cash and a $20,000 luxury watch from Bader al-Asaker, a close advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who recruited him to use his position at Twitter to track down Saudi dissidents.
Abouammo concealed the cash by depositing it in the Lebanese bank account of a relative who then wired the money to Abouammo’s account in the US.
His defense argued that Abouammo’s actions were simply part of his job at Twitter.
Ali Alzabarah left the United States before he could be charged. Both he and Ahmed al-Mutairi are still wanted by the FBI.
Bader al-Asaker is not among the list of defendants, nor is Twitter.