In a tweet that shocked and horrified many but surprised a few, a blue tick verified Saudi account made a thinly veiled threat against Canada just recently. The Tweet that originated from the Saudi account carries a photoshopped image of a Canadian airplane heading for Toronto’s CN Tower.
The tweet comes after tensions escalated further between Canada and the Islamic Kingdom. The tweet has since been deleted but can still be accessed via Twitter archives here. It should be mentioned here that the image stayed online for at least 5 hours until it was taken down after an online uproar calling out the tweet for its blatant terrorist threat.
The picture was accompanied by a caption that carried the translation of an apparent Arabic proverb stating, “He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him”.
The image was re-uploaded later with the air plane removed.
Since then there has been mounting speculation about whom does the account actually belong to and who runs it. There had rumors that the account represents the Saudi government or even the royal family itself. However, it has since come forward that it belongs to a non-profit project that is run by a group of Saudi teenagers.
The tweet is undoubtedly related to the recent surge in diplomatic tensions between the two countries regarding the arrest of Samar Badawi, the sister of the imprisoned Raif Badawi. Raif has been a Saudi prisoner since 2012 and has been punished with 1,000 lashes and a 10 year prison sentence for spreading “anti-Islam thoughts”.
Following the arrest of Samar Badawi, Global Affairs Canada tweeted about the concerns of the party regarding the treatment of dissidents, women and other activists in the Kingdom, threats in to any country should be taken seriously especially when they come from countries with national security concerns.
The Saudi government reacted angrily and has since halted all trade relations and while calling back its envoy in addition to its students studying in Canada.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.