Did Saudis threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack? Some believe they did…
The picture was produced by a group called @Infographic_KSA, which describes itself as a project “managed by a group of Saudi youth who are interested in technology and social media Facts backed by numbers & evidence”. Its online presence is mostly on Twitter, Instagram and Telegram.
The poster was produced amid a diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia over Ottawa’s criticism of the Arab kingdom’s treatment of human rights activists. It shows the picture alongside a message: “Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong! As the Arab saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him’.” There are also versions in languages other than English.
The work doesn’t clarify what exactly would not please the Canadians, but the connotation with the terrorist hijacking of planes and ramming them into the World Trade Center towers didn’t escape many Twitter commenters.
Err, guys, you do know this looks suspiciously like you're threatening to hijack a Canadian passenger plane and fly it into the CN Tower unless Canada recants its criticism of Saudi Arabia...? That's not a good look, even 17 years after 9/11. https://t.co/28iYpMMqLv— James Brownsell (@JamesBrownsell) August 6, 2018
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
As the controversy unfolded, the tweet was swiftly removed, as were the pictures on Instagram.
The group later issued an apology, explaining that “the aircraft was intended to symbolize the return of the ambassador. We realize this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional."
The image of CN tower in Toronto was then reposted, but without the plane in its upper right corner.
However, a few hours later, the Saudi Ministry of Media has ordered the shutdown of the @Infographic_ksa account on Twitter, pending investigation of the complaints filed against the group.
More great optics here by Saudi, posting a threatening message alongside a picture of an airliner flying towards the CN Tower... https://t.co/dLsfN4Cgj9— Neil Hauer (@NeilPHauer) August 6, 2018
The graphic is back, with the reminder of 9/11 removed https://t.co/1d46zYZVQG— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) August 6, 2018