Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed a while ago after minions of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, intercepted his WhatsApp messages. Omar Abdulaziz, Activist Khashoggi’s aide, alleged this and hired a private conversation between himself and the slain journalist with CNN.
Abdulaziz and Khashoggi became informed of being tracked by the Saudi government back in August 2018. But at that time, the Khashoggi was engulfed by a ‘sense of foreboding‘, CNN notes. Both men were planning to unify an online army called ‘cyber bees’ to inform Saudi youth about atrocities brought upon them by the regime.
So the two decided to send international SIM cards to opposers of the royal regime so that they can use Twitter without coming under the axe of censorship. “Twitter is the only platform they are using to fight and to spread their rumours. We have been attacked, we have been insulted, we’d been threatened so many times, and we decided to do something,” Abdulaziz told CNN.
They were also making plans to send some money ($30,000 initially) back home to the online protesters. But these two acts could be seen as hostile moves by the Saudi government and supposedly alarmed it to take action against the two exiled human rights advocates. However, by June 2018, the two men accrued $5,000, but by August, they had received a warning that the government was keeping a close eye on their every step.
In the note of this, Khashoggi warned Abdulaziz of not talking about the ‘cyber bees’ on any social media. The second claims that after the former’s murder, he had learned that his phone was hacked by a ‘military-grade’ spying software which was made by an Israeli company NSO Groups. Abdulaziz who filed a lawsuit against NSO in the Israeli capital Tel Aviv, requesting that the company ‘broke international laws‘ and sold its software to ‘oppressive regimes‘, even after knowing that this could be used for violating human rights.
The conversations between both activists would count as treason in Saudi Arabia and could have activated action against them. The activist also recounts that back in May 2017, he met two people from Saudi Arabia who claimed that they are high-ranking government officials and they have brought a direct message from none other than the Crown Prince himself. As per these officials, the bin Salman liked Abdulaziz’s work, and they wanted to offer him a job.
They asked him to meet them at the Saudi embassy, but he did not go on Khashoggi’s advice, which later saved his life. However, Khashoggi defaulted on his opinion and went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, turkey, which is where he was last seen alive.
These broad claims point that despite denial, the Saudi Arabian government could be involved or entirely responsible for the exiled journalist.