Official arrest warrants for two members of the Saudi spy cell were issued through tension in the United States at a time when the arrest of the third is expected to be renewed.
A former Twitter employee accused of spying for the Saudi regime, Ahmed Abu Amor, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in San Francisco, where he is still being held.
Abu Amo was charged earlier this month with spying with Ali al-Zubara, also a former Twitter employee, and Ahmed al-Mutairi, who worked with the Saudi royal family.
The case puts Silicon Valley in the spotlight with regard to the protection of personal data, including from unjustified employees of technology companies, and represents a public conflict between the United States and one of its most important allies.
The complaint says that Abu Amo repeatedly entered at the expense of a prominent critic of the Saudi royal family in early 2015.
Once, he was able to see the email and phone number associated with the account. Abu Amo also entered into the account of a second Saudi critic for information.
A federal judge in San Francisco ordered his release next week, but prosecutors appealed the decision.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Edward Qin agreed to hear the defense’s plea to challenge Abu Amo’s release and consider renewing the detention order Thursday morning.
Arrest warrants have been issued against Zubara and al-Mutairi, believed to be in Saudi Arabia.
The Washington Post said one of those involved in the espionage operation was linked to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA concluded had ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year.
According to The Washington Post, Abu Amo is believed to have spied on the accounts of three Twitter users, including one whose publications discuss the internal workings of the Al Saud regime.
The scandals are pursuing the Saudi regime and its allies over its use of spying on social media websites as a means of repression and oppression against the Saudi citizens in competition with other authoritarian regimes.
A complaint from the US Justice Department showed that two former Twitter employees and a third man from the kingdom face charges of spying for the Saudi regime by searching for users’ personal data and providing it to Saudi officials in return for money.
This type of espionage may be considered to be much lesser than other forms of it, practiced by allied states within the so-called counter-revolutionary forces. The spying acts of the Saudi regime and its allies in the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt outweigh the practices of the eastern countries that were part of the Soviet Union.
Most of the books published about these devices and fierce during the Cold War, some documentary and most of them are fictional, so that the names of these devices became very fearful in the hearts of many even non-citizens of those countries, including the “KGB” Russian.
Although most of the activity of the security services in the Kingdom and its allies is directed against its opponents and penetration of its systems, much of its activity was directed at ordinary citizens for fear of rebellion against repressive regimes at the time.
However, it is noticeable that the intelligence expansion in the Kingdom is not the result of a deep vigilance to defend the interests of the Kingdom and its people.
So when Washington announced the arrest of the three Twitter employees to spy on militant accounts and pass it on to Saudi intelligence, it came as a surprise to some because of the widespread belief that the Saudis would not engage in intelligence activities in America that normally would not.
The Kingdom has moved towards new policies aimed at expanding regional and international influence on the one hand and absolute control over citizens to prevent any movement of a political nature on the other.