WikiLeaks said that the leaked reports of communications between the Saudi government and its embassies across the globe “provide key insights into the kingdom’s operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions.”
The documents reveal extensive Saudi efforts to influence and neutralise critical opinion in foreign media, including widespread use of monetary contributions and subsidies.
“Most world governments engage in PR campaigns to fend off criticism and build relations in influential places. Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between,” WikiLeaks said in a written statement.
WikiLeaks noted that the Saudi Foreign Ministry admitted to a breach of its computer networks last month. The security breach was attributed a group calling itself the Yemeni Cyber Army. Saudi Arabia is currently engaged in military intervention in the Yemeni civil war.
According to WikiLeaks the leaked material comprises hundreds of thousands of pages of scanned images of Arabic text, tens of thousands of text files, spreadsheets and emails which have been placed a searchable database.