Saudi official claims Crown Prince ordered his assassination

Ex-Saudi intelligence official claims Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada to assassinate him days after murder of Jamal Khashoggi

  • Saad Aljabri claimed the Crown Prince plotted to kill him in Canada in 2018
  • He also said that two of his children have been imprisoned in retaliation 
  • The former intelligence official has been in exile since 2017 fearing for his life
  • Aljabri is accused of embezzling over $3bn from Saudi firms 
  • Aljabri said a squad came to kill him days after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi 
  • The Saudi journalist was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in 2018

A former Saudi intelligence official has alleged that the kingdom’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ordered his assassination and has taken his children hostage. 

Saad Aljabri, who was a top official in Saudi Arabia’s government, claimed the Crown Prince plotted to kill him just weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the prominent Saudi journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Aljabri alleges the Crown Prince, who is widely thought to have orchestrated the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, sent a hit squad to Canada to kill him in 2018 just days after, and has since imprisoned two of Aljabri’s children, Sarah and Omar, in an attempt to force him to return. 

The former intelligence official fled to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 2017 when he was accused of financial crimes along with the kingdom’s former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef. 

Bin Nayef was deposed in 2017 and replaced by his cousin, Mohammed bin Salman, who accused Nayef and Aljabri of stealing billions of dollars from Saudi companies.  

It comes just weeks after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), headed by the Crown Prince, led a £305 million takeover of premier league football club Newcastle United.

Saad Aljabri, a top official in Saudi Arabia’s government, claimed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plotted to kill him in 2018 (pictured: Aljabri with his daughter Sarah, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabria)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused by Aljabri of ordering his assassination. Bin Salman is also widely thought to have ordered the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and his body dismembered by Saudi agents at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. The CIA concluded that he was likely murdered on the orders of the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi had criticized

A Saudi court jailed two of Saad Aljabri’s adult children, Sarah and Omar, late last year on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully – a move seen by many as retaliation for Aljabri’s alleged crimes. 

It came after Aljabri filed a federal lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, alleging the royal tried to trap and kill him in the US and Canada. 

Aljabri’s lawsuit claims a ‘kill team’ was dispatched for him in Canada just two weeks after the same squad killed Khashoggi in October 2018 but that the effort was thwarted by Canadian border security officials. 

But Aljabri himself is currently the subject of a lawsuit from several Saudi firms.

The state-linked company Sakab Saudi Holding accused Aljabri in March of embezzling $3.47 billion while working at the Ministry of Interior under former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

The suit came weeks after multiple state-owned companies sued Aljabri in Toronto on similar allegations, prompting a Canadian court to freeze Aljabri’s assets.  

Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted as crown prince in 2017 by his cousin Mohammed bin Salman, and currently resides in a Saudi prison.

This prompted Aljabri to flee, given his close personal relationship with the former crown prince. 

An interview between Aljabri and CBS journalist Scott Pelley concerning the alleged assassination attempt is set to be broadcast on Sunday October 24. 

The Saudi embassy in Washington issued a statement to CBS in response to the interview, which read: ‘Saad Aljabri is a discredited former government official with a long history of fabricating and creating distractions to hide the financial crimes he committed, which amount to billions of dollars, to furnish a lavish life-style for himself and his family. 

‘He has not denied his crimes; in fact he implies that stealing was acceptable at the time. But it wasn’t acceptable nor legal then, and it isn’t now.’

Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted as crown prince in 2017 by his cousin Mohammed bin Salman, and currently resides in a Saudi prison (pictured: bin Nayef with Barack Obaa at the White House in 2015)

Since his rise to power in 2017, Mohammed bin Salman is the ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and a key US ally. 

But Aljabri is a respected member of the intelligence community in the US and is privy to a variety of state secrets and information concerning counter-terrorism programs.

Aljabri’s legal team previously stated that Sakab – the state-linked company which filed a lawsuit against Aljabri accusing him of embezzlement – is part of a network of front companies to provide cover for clandestine security operations with the United States.

In order to determine Aljabri’s innocence in the case, American courts would need to probe Sakab’s finances, including how they were used to ‘finance sensitive programs’ operated in partnership with the CIA, the US National Security Agency and the US Defense Department, said a filing by Aljabri.

This has left the US reluctant to get involved in the feud between the Saudi state and its former intelligence official. 

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