Bezos’ affair was leaked to tabloids in an effort to smear the owner of The Washington Post due to the paper’s unflattering coverage (to the Saudis) of the Khashoggi affair.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Amazon’s security chief charged Saudi Arabia on Sunday with hacking into Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone in an attempt to harm his reputation in retaliation for the Bezos-owned Washington Post‘s relentless coverage of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last year.
Writing in The Daily Beast, Gavin de Becker said that after an exhaustive investigation, he could pinpoint the Kingdom as the ultimate source for a National Enquirer story in January about Bezos’ love life that included details found only on his phone.
De Becker wrote that his inquiry included, “extensive discussions with top Middle East experts in the intelligence community, leading cybersecurity experts who have tracked Saudi spyware… Saudi whistleblowers, people who personally know Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman… and other targets of Saudi action.”
His suspicions were also backed up by the behavior of the tabloid’s owner, American Media Inc. (AMI), which was eager that the brother of Bezos’ mistress be blamed for the leak.
De Becker wrote that AMI tried to convince Bezos and himself into stating that his investigation had concluded and that the story had not relied on “any form of electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process” and was not “instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.”
Introducing “external” and “political” forces into the matter was highly unusual, De Becker writes, but Bezos had already publicly drawn a connection between the owner of AMI and Saudi Arabia, and De Becker discovered other links as well.
“Some Americans will be surprised to learn that the Saudi government has been intent on harming Jeff Bezos since last October, when the Post began its relentless coverage of [anti-Saudi royals Jamal] Khashoggi’s murder,” the Amazon security chief writes.
“The Saudi campaign against Bezos has already been reported by CNN International, Bloomberg, The Daily Beast, and others,” he said.
“In October, the Saudi government unleashed its cyberarmy on Bezos (and later me). Their multi-pronged campaign included public calls for boycotts against Amazon.com and its Saudi subsidiary, Souq.com. Just three examples among thousands:
“We as Saudis will never accept to be attacked by the Washington Post in the morning, only to buy products from Amazon and Souq.com by night! Strange that all three companies are owned by the same Jew who attacks us by day, and sells us products by night!”
“Our weapon is to boycott… because the owner of the newspaper is the same as their owner.”
“We’re after you – the Jew, worshipper of money, will go bankrupt by the will of God at the hands of Saudi Arabia… the owner of Amazon and Souq is the owner of the Washington Post is the spiteful Jew who insults us every day.”
Bezos, de Becker pointed out, is not Jewish. But he is interested in getting to the bottom of the breach. His security chief has handed over his files to federal authorities for further investigation.