Saudi Arabia appears to threaten Canada with 9/11-style attack

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir gives a speech during the 8th Ministerial Meeting of China Arab States Cooperation Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Riyadh expels Canadian envoy for interference, recalls its own

According to the Toronto Star, there are about 16,000 Saudi students studying in Canada.

A pro-government Saudi Twitter account then provoked outrage when it posted - and then deleted - a 9/11-style digitally altered image showing a plane flying towards the Toronto skyline.

Following Saudi Arabia's expulsion of the Canadian ambassador after Canada called for the release of jailed civil rights activists, the kingdom has now suspended scholarships for about 16,000 students studying here.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Media said in a tweet earlier Monday that it is investigating a Twitter account that posted a photo of an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower, eerily reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks.

In the meantime, the Saudi Ministry of Media tweeted they shut down the account until an investigation in the complaints finalised.

'Canada will always stand up for human rights, in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights, ' Freeland told an audience in Vancouver.

"Canada does not understand its place and it tried to impose itself on the Kingdom's policies in its ministry of foreign affairs statement as if to place itself above other countries in the world", he said.

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The former head of the Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia, Dr Hadi Bin Al Yami, said that the Canadian government's actions violate diplomatic norms governing state relations.

The news dominated the worldwide headlines and social media, especially in Saudi Arabia, where Saudis launched an Arabic hashtag "السعوديه_تطرد_السفير_الكندي" that literally translates to: "Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador".

The arrests last week brought criticism from the Canadian government.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children.

Amnesty International noted Ms Badawi has been repeatedly targeted and interrogated by Saudi security forces for her human rights activist.

Riyadh's singling out of Canada is aimed at strongly discouraging other critical Western governments from speaking out, observers say.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, said it is hard to determine what the economic impact on Canada would be without specifics on which trade deals will be affected.

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