Mississippi university student arrested, charged with lying to FBI, harassing Saudi dissidents

Published 7:24 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Saudi man living in Mississippi has been charged with lying to FBI agents and was reportedly using secret social media profiles to harass critics of the Saudi government, according to recently unsealed court documents.

The Daily Beast reports that Ibrahim Alhussayen,42, is accused of lying to federal officials about an Instagram account he was reportedly using to send threatening messages and comments to “harass dissidents and critics of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Officials say Alhussayen has been living in the U.S. since 2013 and had been pursuing his Ph.D. at a Mississippi university when he sent the threatening messages.

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Court documents indicate that Alhussayen claimed he worked for the “Saudi Royal Court.”

A LinkedIn account for Alhussayen suggests he was attending Jackson State University for graduate work. Court documents report that he had also attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

In the documents, prosecutors report that Alhussayen’s had a device that contained screenshots of two “tweets” from Khashoggi’s Twitter account which were reportedly saved nearly a year before Khashoggi’s death. A frequent critic of the Saudi government, Khashoggi had published several pieces for the Washington Post that were critical of the KSA government. Khashoggi was reportedly killed by Saudi agents in 2018 because he was critical of the Saudi government.