Amid spat with Canada, pro-government Saudi Twitter account shares image of plane flying toward Toronto skyline
Amid a diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada, a pro-government Saudi Twitter account shared - and then deleted - a digitally altered image that appeared to show a plane flying toward the skyline of Toronto, Canada's largest city.
The image, shared by the account @infographic_ksa, was accompanied by a message in English that contained the saying "He who interferes with what doesn't concern him finds what doesn't please him." The text "sticking one's nose where it doesn't belong!" was also superimposed over the image.
Though the image was deleted, screenshots of the tweet were quickly shared.
The image was later reshared with the plane removed.
Now deleted, here a screenshot of the threatening Saudi "infographic" featuring an airliner headed for the Toronto skyline. pic.twitter.com/LrkCLxxjFk
— Tobias Schneider (@tobiaschneider) August 6, 2018
The image reminded many social media users of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which planes were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon. A total of 2,977 people were killed. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi royals have long been accused of complicity in the attack.
The account posted later on Monday, August 6, that the image had not been intended to refer to 9/11 and apologized for its "inappropriate" tweet:
The @infographic_ksa account has more than 350,000 followers on Twitter and an additional 88,000 on Instagram. A website affiliated with the social media accounts describes it as a "voluntary non-profit project" that is "managed by a group of Saudi youth."
The accounts, which are followed by a number of Saudi diplomatic figures, are verified and largely share government announcements and pro-Riyadh messages. The Twitter account has been described as "an official government" account in Saudi-owned state media, although the relationship to the Saudi state is not clear.
Saudi Arabia had ordered the expulsion of the Canadian envoy, as well as the halt to all new trade and investment deals between the two nations, after Canada said it was "gravely concerned" about recent arrests of activists in Saudi Arabia.