On Tuesday, a federal jury in San Francisco found former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo guilty for spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
While overseeing media partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa for Twitter between 2013 and 2015, a Saudi official — referred to in the criminal complaint simply as “Foreign Official-1” — recruited Abouammo to covertly divulge personal information of Saudi dissidents. Now, Abouammo is facing 10 to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, money laundering, falsifying records, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
Two other Saudi citizens — Ali Alzabarah and Ahmed Almutairi — allegedly contributed to the scheme, but fled the country after being charged with acting as unregistered agents for Saudi Arabia. Alzabarah, also a former Twitter employee, accessed the personal information of an estimated 6,000 Twitter accounts across six months in 2015, according to the FBI.