Middle East: FBI warns Saudi dissidents of threat after Khashoggi's death


The FBI has warned a number of Saudi dissidents of a life-threatening threat from Saudi Arabia, weeks after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his consulate in Istanbul, the Middle East A website reported.

The website said the opponents, who were warned by the FBI, were three Saudi dissidents and an Arab activist, all of whom reside in America, with previous ties to Khashoggi.

The website said that he continued with some of them, but they kept their names and refused to reveal them, pointing out that one of the concerned runs a YouTube channel of fame and criticizing the Saudi government, while one of them participated in an opposition to the Saudi authorities, while the third worked with Khashoggi in a project to confront e-committees Saudi Arabia or what is known as electronic flies.

He pointed out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation expressed concern about the safety of opponents because of the circulation of their names in a number of departments.

The website also confirmed that US intelligence agencies are legally obliged to inform US citizens and residents of any international threat against them.

The report said federal investigators had told an activist that he was not safe in a number of countries while planning to travel outside the United States.

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The disclosure of FBI concerns about the safety of some Saudi dissidents on US soil would raise more questions about US President Donald Trump's remarks, in which he played down Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's role in Khashoggi's death, the website said.

He noted that last November, while FBI agents were visiting Saudi dissidents, Trump stressed the importance of "fixed" relations between Riyadh and Washington, just three days after the CIA reported to the White House that it had concluded that Ben Salman was ordered to kill Khashoggi.

The number of Saudis seeking asylum has increased dramatically since the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince in Saudi Arabia, the website said, rising from 575 in 2015 to 1256 in 2017, according to UN figures.

Other warnings
The FBI was the only one to warn Saudi dissidents of a life-threatening threat. Time magazine revealed in May that the CIA and foreign security agencies had warned Khashoggi's friends that their efforts to continue his pro-democracy work had made them and their families targets for possible Saudi revenge.

Among the people warned by the Palestinian activist was Iyad al-Baghdadi, a resident of Norway, and the Saudi-based Saudi opposition Omar Abdel Aziz, in addition to another person residing in the United States, who asked not to be named.

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The three activists were working with Khashoggi on politically sensitive media and rights projects.

Al-Baghdadi told Time magazine that he had been instructed to take preventive measures that would make it difficult to penetrate their electronic devices so that no information would be used against them. This happened with Omar Abdul Aziz, who sued an Israeli company that sells malicious software to penetrate mobile phones.

Time said tips were given to them to avoid traveling to a number of European and Asian countries where Saudi Arabia had special influence and to transfer their family members from these countries.

ref: aljazeera