From Al Jazeera TV today:
Saudi group apologises after airliner post resembling 9/11
Tweet showing an aircraft heading towards Toronto’s CN Tower with a warning deleted after social media backlash.
A group in Saudi Arabia apologised and deleted a Twitter post showing an image of an Air Canada passenger plane veering towards Toronto’s tallest skyscraper with a warning against meddling in others’ affairs.
Some on social media noted the image was reminiscent of scenes during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when nearly 3,000 people were killed by 19 hijackers – 15 of whom were Saudi nationals – who flew airliners into the World Trade Center’s twin towers and the Pentagon.
The controversial tweet came amid an escalating diplomatic dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia after Ottawa denounced Rihadh’s imprisonment of human rights activists.
Infographic KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] … published the image of the airliner with the warning: “He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him.”
The infographic also accused Canada of “sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong”.
The tweet was subsequently translated to English and French and retweeted hundreds of times before it and the account were deleted. …
After Ottawa’s criticism, Saudi Arabia also froze new trade and investment with Canada worth billions of dollars and ordered 15,000 Saudi students not to attend Canadian universities.
Al Jazeera contacted Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment about the tweet but at the time of publication had not received a response.
Families of the victims have spent years lobbying US politicians for the right to sue the kingdom in American courts, claiming Riyadh helped plan the hijackings.
Evidence submitted as part of a class action lawsuit against Saudi Arabia last year alleged Saudi’s embassy in Washington, DC, may have funded a test run for the deadly attacks. …
Infographic KSA has more than 350,000 followers on Twitter. Few social media accounts, NGOs, or Saudi citizens are permitted to openly discuss politics in the kingdom on such a global platform.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Infographic KSA ‘has a history of posting messages that are supportive of the Saudi government’.
Last year, the kingdom urged its citizens to report subversive comments found on social media via a phone app, a move denounced by Human Rights Watch as “Orwellian“.
According to the watchdog, more than a dozen female activists have been targeted by Saudi authorities since May, in what was described as an “unrelenting crackdown on the women’s rights movement“.
Specifically the women’s movement for the right to drive cars.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, heir to the Saudi throne, has become the ultimate decision-maker for the kingdom’s military, foreign, economic and social policies, championing his Vision 2030 plan that includes subsidy cuts, tax increases, state-asset sales, a government efficiency drive, and efforts to spur foreign investment.
The 32-year-old has been well-received by the administration of US President Donald Trump.