A former Saudi intelligence official has alleged that the kingdom’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), plotted to kill the former King Abdullah with a ‘poison ring from Russia’.
Saad Aljabri, who was a top official in Saudi Arabia‘s government, claimed the Crown Prince is a ‘psychopath with no empathy who doesn’t feel emotion’ in an interview on the CBS program ’60 Minutes’, and said he has proof that MBS planned to assassinate the former king.
Aljabri, a former intelligence official loyal to the kingdom’s former ruler Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), fled to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 2017 when MBN was ousted by the current Crown Prince.
He also alleges that MBS, who is widely thought to have orchestrated the gruesome murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, sent a hit squad to Canada to kill him.
Aljabri, 62, was joined in the ’60 Minutes’ episode by one of his sons, Khalid, who shared harrowing insight into the alleged torture of Aljabri’s son-in-law in an attempt to force him back to the Kingdom.
The ex-spymaster was also joined by former CIA director Michael Morell, who described Aljabri as ‘extraordinarily bright’ and ‘incredibly loyal to his country’.
Meanwhile, Aljabri stands accused of financial crimes and is the subject of a lawsuit filed by multiple state-linked Saudi firms, who claim he embezzled over $3 billion while working for MBN.
Former Saudi intelligence official Saad Aljabri has alleged that the kingdom’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is a ‘psychopath killer who poses a threat to the planet’
Aljabri immediately levied allegations against Crown Prince MBS as soon as the interview began.
‘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,’ he exclaimed.
He went on to accuse MBS of carrying out multiple atrocities and crimes, and said he had evidence of the Crown Prince declaring he wanted to use a ‘poison ring’ to kill the then King Abdullah as early as 2014.
Aljabri claimed MBS had bragged: ‘I want to assassinate King Abdullah. I get a poison ring from Russia. It’s enough for me just to shake hand with him and he will be done.’
‘I expect to be killed one day because [MBS] will not rest off until he see me dead,’ said Aljabri, who claimed he had two recordings of the conversation in safe-keeping.
‘[MBS] fears my information,’ said Aljabri.
A Saudi court jailed two of his 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 their father’s alleged crimes.
Aljabri’s son-in-law was also jailed, and according to Aljabri’s eldest son Khalid, was tortured at the hands of Saudi authorities.
‘The first night he was kidnapped, he received more than a hundred lashes. He was tortured. He was beaten on his back, on his legs,’ Khalid told Pelley.
‘He was being told that he was detained and tortured as a proxy for his father-in-law, meaning my dad. They even asked him a question, who do you think we should arrest and torture so Dr. Saad can come back to the kingdom?’
It came after Aljabri filed a federal lawsuit against MBS, 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.
Meanwhile, former CIA director Michael Morell was full of praise for Aljabri, telling Pelley that ‘the people at the CIA feel an obligation to Saad Aljabri’, and that he is a ‘big admirer’ of the former spymaster.
Morell went on to say that Aljabri was to thank for saving American lives by thwarting terror attacks and sharing vital intelligence.
‘Dr. Saad absolutely saved American lives. He saved Saudi lives, many of them, and he saved American lives.
‘In 2010, al-Qaida hid bombs in two desktop printers. They were in the air, as cargo, headed to the US on two planes, perhaps intended to explode over American cities.
‘But thanks to intelligence relayed by Saad Aljabri, the bombs were intercepted during layovers.’
A plane headed for Chicago carrying the cartridges was intercepted during a stop at East Midlands airport – an operation for which Aljabri is credited with providing key information.
Yet despite the favour Aljabri has curried among the American intelligence community, the former Saudi official 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 MBN.
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.
When asked by Scott Pelley whether he stole the money, Aljabri simply replied, ‘no.’
But Pelley followed up, asking Aljabri again, ‘if you didn’t steal the money, how did you get so rich?’
Aljabri replied by saying his service to the royal family over the years has simply paid dividends.
‘They’ve been nice to me. They’ve been very generous. It’s a tradition in Saudi Arabia royal family. They take care of people around them,’ Aljabri insisted.
MBN was ousted as Crown Prince in 2017 by his cousin MBS, and currently resides in a Saudi prison.
This prompted Aljabri to flee, given his close personal relationship with the former crown prince.
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.’
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.