Saudi Arabia has appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack after a nasty Twitter spat between the two governments.
The diplomatic row began after Canadian officials urged the Saudis to free arrested human rights activists.
“Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi,” the foreign affairs account tweeted.
“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”
But Saudi Arabia’s state media lashed out, tweeting a graphic which appeared to show a passenger jet heading towards Toronto’s towers in a similar fashion to the 9/11 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi citizens, and the ringleader – Osama bin Laden – came from a well-known Saudi family.
“Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong!” the message warned.
“As the Arabic saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him.'”
Saudi state airline Saudia has declared it is suspending flights to and from Toronto, and new trade and investment with Canada has been frozen.
Saudi Arabia also recalled its ambassador and gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country.
“Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgement of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs,” the Saudi foreign ministry said, in an aggressive statement.
“Canada and all other nations need to know that they can’t claim to be more concerned than the kingdom over its own citizens.”