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Ex-Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia

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Two former employees of Twitter have been charged in the US with spying for Saudi Arabia.

The charges, unsealed on Wednesday in San Francisco, allege that Saudi agents sought personal information about Twitter users including known critics of the Saudi government.

Court documents named the two as Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, from Saudi Arabia.

A third person, Saudi citizen Ahmed Almutairi, is also accused of spying.

The New York Times says it is the first time that Saudi citizens have been charged with spying inside the United States.

What are the charges?

Ahmad Abouammo appeared in a Seattle court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody pending another hearing due on Friday.

He is also charged with falsifying documents and making false statements to the FBI.

The criminal complaint says he provided the FBI with a falsified, back-dated invoice charging an unnamed Saudi official $100,000 for “consulting services”.

Mr Abouammo is said to have left his job as a media partnership manager for Twitter in 2015.

Mr Alzabarah, a former Twitter engineer, is accused of accessing the personal data of more than 6,000 Twitter users in 2015 after being recruited by Saudi agents.

SourceBBC

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