Iyad el-Baghdadi, activist in Norway, ‘warned by CIA of Saudi threat’

An Arab pro-democracy activist says he was whisked away to safety by officials in Norway, where he lives, after being told of a threat from Saudi Arabia

Iyad el-Baghdadi is a Palestinian human rights campaigner and writer who won prominence during the 2011 Arab uprisings and has written critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He has lived in Oslo since 2015.

Baghdadi said that on April 25, the Norwegian security services took him to a secure location and told him of the possible threat against him.

“Once I was there and settled down, they told me that … they have received a tip from a partner intelligence agency indicating that I’ve been the target of a threat,” he told Reuters.

The Saudi embassy in Oslo was not immediately available for comment. Saudi Arabia’s government communications office did not respond to a request for comment.

Baghdadi said the Norwegian authorities did not name the partner agency, but that from the context of the conversation he had inferred that they were referring to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

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