A team of investigators have “concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone.”

Saudi Arabia has been implicated in an extortion scandal to defame Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over his affair with a TV news anchor, it has been claimed.

Who hacked Bezos’s phone?

After intimate text messages and images shared between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were leaked to The National Enquirer, the Amazon CEO ordered an investigation to discover who was behind the data breach.

Bezos’ security consultant Gavin De Becker told The Daily Beast that his team of investigators have “concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone.”

Bezos vs Trump

Sources say that the revelations run deep, focusing on the rivalry between Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, and President Donald Trump, who has described the publication as a “lobbyist newspaper.” The Saudis have reportedly found both Bezos and the newspaper a threat.

Sanchez’ brother Michael was implicated in the leak of the intimate messages, but Bezos firmly believes that he was hacked and that an intelligence agency leaked the images to the Trump Administration. Saudi Arabia or the UAE are at the top of his list of culprits.

Security boss De Becker pointed to details that indicates that Michael Sanchez might not have been the source of the texts: stating that the Enquirer had contacted Michael Sanchez after already seeing text exchanges between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, which “would mean, clearly and obviously, that the initial information came from other channels—another source or method.”

De Becker added that his investigation concluded “with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information.” He said he has passed this information onto federal investigators.

The investigator adds that Saudi Arabia is using AMI and its publications to put pressure on people it deems enemies, such as Bezos and The Washington Post.

Bezos himself alluded to Saudi Arabia’s involvement in a blog post on Medium in February. He said AMI had been investigated for “various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.” The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who worked as a journalist at The Washington Post, owned by Bezos, is also another sign of possible motive for the data breach.

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Author

Ahmed Naser is a UK-based journalist with a deep understanding of the Middle East. Ahmed is a contributor to a wide range of regional publications in the Middle East. He works across print and digital media as a freelance editor and writer.

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