Bellingcat @bellingcat Award-winning open source investigation. Want to donate? See here: www.patreon.com/bellingcat Aug. 01, 2019 1 min read

Today, Facebook announced that it removed accounts, pages and groups associated with two covert influence operations -- one originating in the UAE and Egypt and the other in Saudi Arabia.
 https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/08/cib-uae-egypt-saudi-arabia/ 

Facebook benefited from our recent report (written by @al_b33lz3bub) on Saud al-Qahtani, MBS's right hand man and Saudi Arabia's cybersecurity chief.
 https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2019/06/26/lord-of-the-flies-an-open-source-investigation-into-saud-al-qahtani/ 

In its press release, Facebook didn't tell us how @b33lz3bub's report tipped them off, but our report did identify a fake Facebook account used by al-Qahtani.

al-Qahtani has been actively, and publicly (under pseudonyms), sought to produce waves of inauthentic interactions on Facebook since at least 2011.

al-Qahtani is also a very, very petty man with way too much money to spend. On a message board, he was asking around how he could kick players from a Facebook game called "War Commander". He was offering $500 to boot people he didn't like from the game. He's MBS's right-hand man!

In his report, @al_b33lz3bub identified more than two dozen domains registered by al-Qahtani. One of them, saudqq[.]com, was used for malware and other malicious activity. It also had subdomains referencing Facebook and other social media platforms.


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