Missing dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was at the heart of an “online army” of Saudi activists fighting a misinformation cyberwar, according to friends who fear he may have been targeted because of his support.
Mr Khashoggi, who disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago, recently gave $5000 to “Geish al-Nahla” or the Bee Army, an opposition movement offering cyber protection to Saudi activists needing a safe platform to speak out in the oppressive Kingdom.
It is the brainchild of Mr Khashoggi’s friend Omar Abdulaziz, 27, a Canada-based Saudi activist, who claims he was also targeted with a plan to disappear him. Saudi Aabia denies any involvement in the Khashoggi case and did not respond to requests about Mr Abdulaziz .
The revelations come amid reports by experts of a massive increase in both the activity and presence of pro-Saudi automated Twitter accounts since Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance. These bot or troll accounts, which activists believe may