Saudi Crown Prince accused in trial of sending strike team to Canada | Canada

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A former senior Saudi intelligence official with close ties to Western intelligence agencies accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of plotting to kill him, claiming in a US lawsuit such an attempt was thwarted by Canadian officials in 2018.

A lawsuit by Saad Aljabri against the Saudi crown prince and other Saudi officials, which has been taken to a district court in Washington DC, claims that the Saudi state has launched a campaign to target the former senior official in Canada because he was seen as a threat to Prince Mohammed’s relations with the United States and his eventual ascension to the throne.

The complaint includes several jaw-dropping and unverified details of the alleged plot to target Aljabri, including an allegation that a team of Saudi assassins was sent to Canada to kidnap the former Saudi official just two weeks after the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

Aljabri is a former intelligence official who has been praised by former colleagues in the US and UK for helping keep Westerners safe in the face of the threat from Al Qaeda. The complaint includes references to two earlier alleged plots – one against synagogues in Chicago and the other involving plans to detonate two cargo planes bound for the United States – which were allegedly thwarted with help from the United States. ‘Aljabri.

“This combination of in-depth knowledge and enduring trust on the part of senior US officials is why there is hardly a single accused bin Salman wants dead more than Dr Saad,” the legal complaint said.

He also claimed that Prince Mohammed sent “explicit death threats” to Aljabri and frequently used WhatsApp, the popular messaging app.

Saad Aljabri with his son Omar, currently detained in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: provided

The complaint alleges that the assassins are part of a so-called Tiger Squad of the Crown Prince’s personal mercenary group and attempted to enter Canada illegally on tourist visas on or around October 15, 2018 with “intent to kill ”Aljabri.

The men attempted to enter Canada through separate “kiosks”, according to the complaint, but were stopped and questioned by Canadian authorities, who later reportedly found a photo of the men together, proving they knew each other. .

The Canadian government said in a statement that it could not comment on the specific allegations but did not deny the allegations.

“We are aware of incidents in which foreign actors have attempted to monitor, intimidate or threaten Canadians and people living in Canada,” the government said.

He added, “This is completely unacceptable and we will never tolerate foreign actors threatening Canada’s national security or the safety of our citizens and residents. Canadians can be confident that our security agencies have the skills and resources to detect, investigate and respond to these threats. We will always take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of Canadians and those on Canadian soil, and we encourage people to report any such threats to law enforcement authorities.

A spokesperson for the Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately return a request for comment.

The new allegations come just weeks after the Guardian reported that another Saudi Arabian living in exile in Canada was warned that his life may be in danger from the Saudi regime. Omar Abdulaziz, a close confidant of Khashoggi, has been warned by Canadian authorities that he is a “potential target” of Saudi Arabia and that he must take precautions to protect himself.

Aljabri’s son, Khalid Aljabri, who also lives in exile in Canada with his family, did not return a Guardian request for comment. But in a tweet, Khalid Aljabri said his family had “no choice but to seek justice and accountability in US federal court” after “exhausting all peaceful remedies”.

The family separately said that Saad Aljabri’s two adult children, Sarah and Omar, had been arrested and held without charge in Saudi Arabia and had not been heard from since March. The Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment on the allegation earlier.

Aljabri’s trial contained little evidence to support his charges and the allegations could not be independently verified by Guardian.

While some media reports alleged that Prince Mohammed was calling for Aljabri’s return to the kingdom over unspecified corruption allegations involving his work with former Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, the family has strongly denied any allegation of wrongdoing.

In the US legal complaint, Aljabri claimed he was “aware of sensitive information” about Prince Mohammed’s allegations of “secret political intrigues within the royal court, corrupt business transactions and the creation of personal mercenaries that the defendant bin Salman would use later to carry out. the extrajudicial murder of Jamal Khashoggi, among others ”.

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