Former anti-terrorism operative, who is known for his role fighting Al Qaeda following the September 11th attacks, is the focus of a social media campaign by Saudi trolls.
A former FBI special agent who served as the lead investigator into the September 11th attacks in 2001 is reportedly being targeted by Saudi authorities.
Ali Soufan, an unapologetic critic of Saudi Arabia and its failure to stop the attacks, has been bombarded with social media messages and video clips.
The former agent and author has passed on the messages to the FBI, who have opened an investigation, according to The New Yorker.
One example of the threats included a message that read: “Make yourself dead, beginning of the end.”
Soufan said he had hired a private investigator who sourced the messages back to Saudi Arabia.
On his Twitter, the former FBI agent responded to the New Yorker article, writing: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”
The Arab-American, who was one of the most senior Muslim intelligence officials during the fight against Al Qaeda, has long been critical of Saudi Arabia due to the fact so many of the September 11th attackers came from the country, with 15 out of the 19 hijackers were from the desert kingdom.
In recent years he has been critical of the country's destabilising role in the Middle East, including its targeting of dissidents, including the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by a Saudi government-authorised hit squad in Istanbul in 2018.
Western and Turkish intelligence officials believe that the murder was sanctioned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Soufan is not the only figure to be targeted by Saudi Arabian social media swarms in recent years. Victims of these cyber armies are often targeted with slurs, death threats, and false allegations.
Targets have included the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Tawakkol Karman, who has spoken out against Saudi atrocities in Yemen, and Omar Abdulaziz, a dissident who fled to Canada.