Saudi crown prince Salman accused of assassination bid
A former senior Saudi intelligence official said in a US lawsuit Thursday that the country’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman tried to have him assassinated in 2018, just weeks after dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey, reports AFP.
Saad Aljabri said prince Mohammed sent a ‘hit squad’ to Canada, where he lives in exile, to kill and dismember him in the same way that Khashoggi was murdered allegedly by the prince’s agents in Istanbul in October 2018.
“To fulfil his murderous desire, Defendant bin Salman has personally orchestrated an attempted extrajudicial killing of Saad, an attempt that remains ongoing to this day,” Aljabri charged in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington.
Aljabri said that prince Mohammed wants him dead because he is close to rival prince and former Saudi security chief prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and because he has intimate knowledge of Prince Mohammed’s activities that would sour the close relationship between Washington and Riyadh.
“Dr Saad is uniquely positioned to existentially threaten defendant bin Salman’s standing with the US government. That is why Defendant bin Salman wants him dead,” the suit said.
Aljabri was already abroad in June 2017 when prince Mohammed seized power in the palace, removing Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince and placing him under house arrest.
After his children in Riyadh were hit with travel restrictions, Aljabri refused entreaties to return, fearing he would meet the same fate as prince Nayef, and moved to Canada where a son lives.
Since then Riyadh tried unsuccessfully to use Interpol to gain custody of him. And he says they sent a team of agents to the United States to track him down.
Thirteen days after Khashoggi’s murder on 2 October 2018, a team from what Aljabri called in the lawsuit prince Mohammed’s ‘personal mercenary group, the Tiger Squad,’ arrived in Canada.