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Saudi Arabian group apologizes for posting image appearing to threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-08-06 CBC/Radio-Canada
a white sign with black text: Infographic KSA, a Saudi youth organization, posted a picture on its Twitter account appearing to show a plan headed towards the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attacks. KSA © Twitter Infographic KSA, a Saudi youth organization, posted a picture on its Twitter account appearing to show a plan headed towards the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 terror attacks. KSA

A Saudi Arabian youth organization is apologizing after after posting an image on Twitter appearing to show an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

"As the Arabic saying goes: 'He who interferes with what doesn't concern him finds what doesn't please him,'" reads a caption superimposed over the image. The infographic also accuses Canada of "sticking one's nose where it doesn't belong."

It was posted on the Twitter account of Infographic KSA which, according its website, is a Saudi youth organization made up of volunteers interested in technology.

The move follows the outbreak of a public spat between the governments of Canada and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over human rights.

Saudi Arabia ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador on Sunday after Global Affairs Canada sent a tweet expressing "grave concern" over the recent arrests of civil society and women's rights activists and calling for their "immediate release."

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry responded on Twitter saying "KSA through its history has not and will not accept any form of interfering in the internal affairs of the Kingdom." Saudi Arabia also announced Sunday it would be suspending all new trade and investment transactions with Canada.

After social media users pointed out the threatening nature of the photo, Infographic KSA deleted the tweet and posted an apology.

"The aircraft was intended to symbolize the return of the ambassador," read the tweet. "We realize this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional."

The image was later reposted without the plane to Infographic KSA's Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Just after 3 p.m. on Monday, the Saudi ministry of media announced it had launched an investigation into the account after receiving a complaint.

"The ministry has ordered the owner of the account to shut it down until investigations are completed," read the tweet.

Asked if the Canadian government was aware of the image and whether it prompted any specific response, Public Safety spokesperson Scott Bardsley declined comment.

Related Video: Canada defiant after Saudi Arabia freezes new trade over human rights call (Provided by Reuters)

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