Saudi-funded LIV Golf accused of exploiting lawsuit to acquire data on 9/11 victims
The kingdom has previously used its resources to spy on US citizens and bolster its narratives via non-political entities
By News Desk - January 06 2023

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf, a professional golf tour financed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, was accused on 5 January of using the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA tour) lawsuit to acquire intelligence on the families of 9/11 victims who have criticized Riyadh and its recent tour.

The Clout Public Affairs center is the primary public relations firm that represents the PGA tour; however, they also represent 9/11 victims and their families. In a separate case, the victims are suing Riyadh for its alleged involvement in the 11 September attacks.

A few days prior, Clout accused LIV of hiring a third-party firm to track individuals involved in the lawsuit against Saudi Arabia.

“[LIV Golf] seeks information not only on Clout’s work regarding LIV and golf, but chillingly, it also seeks to sift any communications Clout has had with 9/11 families about the Saudi league, their sovereign wealth fund, and the agents that have been hired to track and monitor 9/11 families in the United States,” Clout’s motion read.

In response to the accusations, LIV argued that the PGA tour is running a campaign against it.

The kingdom has previously used its resources to spy on US citizens and bolster its narratives via non-political entities. Riyadh also may have “infiltrated” Wikipedia to control the encyclopedia’s narratives.  

Last month, Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo was found guilty of spying on users for the Saudi Arabian government and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

According to prosecutors, a close adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) hired Abouammo to help obtain personal information about Saudi dissidents. 

Similarly, in July of last year, The Guardian revealed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been using hacking software sold by Israeli surveillance company NSO Group to spy on journalists, politicians, lawyers, and activists on an international scale. 

The Saudi Arabian government is also known for its intolerance to criticism against the establishment. Earlier this month, the US federal court dismissed the lawsuit against MbS for his involvement in the brutal murder of Saudi-US journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as US President Joe Biden granted the monarch immunity.

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