Ex-Saudi spymaster makes explosive claims against Mohammed bin Salman

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Ex-Saudi spymaster makes explosive claims against Mohammed bin Salman
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A former Saudi Arabian intelligence official has made a series of explosive claims against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

Saad Aljabri, who served as an aide under former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, made the comments in an interview with CBS60 Minutes programme, claiming that MBS was a “psychopath”.

Mr Aljabri, who is living in exile in Canada, also claimed a “tiger squad” of assassins directed by bin Salman had attempted to kill him. He said Canadian authorities had foiled the alleged plot.

Mr Aljabri did not provide evidence to the CBS News program, which aired Sunday.

Mohammed bin Salman is now de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, after ousting bin Nayef from power in 2017. Mr Jabri spent many years as bin Nayef’s closest aide at the Ministry of Interior, including helping to overhaul the kingdom’s intelligence and counterterrorism operations.

Mr Aljabi told CBS: “I am here to sound the alarm about a psychopath, killer, in the Middle East with infinite resources, who poses threat to his people, to the Americans and to the planet.

“I expect to be killed one day because this guy will not rest until he sees me dead.”

Last year, a Saudi court jailed two of Mr Aljabri’s adult children for money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully, charges they deny.

Mr Aljabri issued a passionate plea to the Biden administration to ensure the safety of his family.

He added: “I have to speak out. I am appealing to the American people and to the American administration to help me to release those children and to restore their life.”

The allegations come more than three years after Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi-born US resident who wrote for the Washington Post and was critical of MbS, was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince, but a US intelligence report concluded in February that he had approved of an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi.

Responding to the claims made by Mr Aljabri, the Saudi Embassy in Washington said: “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 lifestyle 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.”

The allegations were denied by Aljabri.

The Evening Standard has contacted the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington DC for further comment.

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