MBS’ Misk Foundation under Review amid Espionage Scandals
Story Code : 885250
Citing a Saudi official, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Tuesday that the review was ordered by the Riyadh government after the US Justice Department appeared to refer to the Misk Foundation and one of its senior officials in a lawsuit in November against two former Twitter employees and a third man.
The trio was accused of spying on users of the social media platform on behalf of the Riyadh regime.
The organization and its former secretary general Bader al-Askar were also named as defendants alongside bin Salman in another suit filed in the US in August by Saad la-Jabri, an ex-Saudi intelligence official living in exile.
“It [the allegations in the lawsuits] has brought scrutiny to something that has done phenomenal things,” said the Saudi official, who requested anonymity. “I’m pretty sure the crown prince was furious that this jewel was linked to this.”
Bin Salman founded the Misk Foundation in 2011, years before he was appointed heir to the Saudi throne.
The foundation has been a crucial tool in the crown prince’s efforts to promote his brand overseas and sign partnerships with international entities, including the UN, the Gates Foundation, Bloomberg, Harvard University and General Electric.
However, Misk’s affiliation to bin Salman caused both the Gates Foundation and Harvard to cut their ties with the organization in the wake of the state-sponsored killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.