Saudi crown prince sent squad to Canada to kill ex-spy, lawsuit says

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Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has been accused of sending a strike team to Canada to track down and kill a former senior Saudi intelligence official.

Saad al-Jabri, a senior figure in the Saudi government, was the alleged target of the assassination plot, according to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court Thursday.

Mr Jabri was a longtime aide to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was ousted from his heir to the throne in a palace coup in 2017.

He fled to Canada at the time, via Turkey, and has been under the protection of private security in Toronto ever since.

In the 107-page lawsuit against Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MBS, Jabri said the crown prince “sent a strike team” to Canada in October 2018.

“(A) team of Saudi nationals crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Saudi Arabia … with the intention of killing Dr Saad,” said the lawsuit, which seeks punitive damages in an amount to be determined at the time. of the trial.

Mr Jabri says he was targeted because of “damning information” he has, including details of alleged corruption and a group of mercenaries, called Tiger Squad, which have been linked to the journalist’s murder Jamal Khashoggi.

“Few places have more sensitive, humiliating and damning information about the accused bin Salman than the mind and memory of Dr Saad – with the possible exception of the recordings made by Dr Saad in anticipation of his assassination », Indicates the trial.

“This is why the accused bin Salman wants him dead and why the accused bin Salman has worked to achieve this goal for the past three years.”

The strike team sent to kill Mr Jabri consisted of members of the Tiger Squad and carried two bags of forensic tools when they were stopped by Canadian border officials, the lawsuit added.

He says the men “attempted to enter Canada illegally, traveling on tourist visas” and pretending not to know each other. Suspicious border officials found a photo showing several of the men together, “exposing their lie and foiling their mission.”

The alleged incident took place less than two weeks after Mr. Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

MBS reportedly made repeated efforts to return Mr. Jabri to Saudi Arabia (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Jabri claims that MBS made repeated efforts to send him back to Saudi Arabia, even sending private messages, including one that said, “We will definitely contact you.”

His family claim the crown prince detained two of his adult children and his brother in an attempt to force his return.

Mr Jabri, who has served as a key intermediary for MI6 and other Western spy agencies in Saudi Arabia, said he took legal action in the United States in part because the alleged plot against him “involved substantial conduct within the United States.”

Canadian Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he could not comment on the case, but said the government was “aware of incidents in which foreign actors attempted to monitor, d ‘intimidate or threaten Canadians and persons living in Canada’.

“It is totally unacceptable,” he added.

The Saudi government could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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