Ex-Saudi official makes damaging allegations against crown prince

Published October 26, 2021
Former senior Saudi security official Saad al Jabri sits for an interview with journalist Scott Pelley in Washington during an interview for "60 Minutes". — AP/File
Former senior Saudi security official Saad al Jabri sits for an interview with journalist Scott Pelley in Washington during an interview for "60 Minutes". — AP/File

DUBAI: A former senior Saudi security official who helped oversee joint counter-terrorism efforts with the United States alleged in an interview with CBS News that the country’s crown prince once spoke of killing a sitting Saudi monarch before his own father was crowned king.

Saad al Jabri did not provide evidence to the CBS News programme, which aired on Sunday.

The ex-intelligence official, who resides in exile in Canada, alleged that in 2014, Prince Mohammed bin Salman boasted that he could kill King Abdullah. At the time, Prince Mohammed held no senior role in government but was serving as gatekeeper to the royal court of his father, at the time still heir to the throne.

King Salman ascended to the throne in January 2015 after the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

Al Jabri used the interview to warn Prince Mohammed that he has recorded a video that reveals even more royal secrets and some of the United States. A short, silent clip was shown to "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley. The video, al Jabri said, could be released if he’s killed.

Al Jabri’s allegations are the latest attempt to pressure the 36-year-old crown prince. Two of al Jabri’s adult children are in detention in Saudi Arabia, allegedly as pawns to force their father to return home.

If he returns, al Jabri faces possible imprisonment or house arrest like his former boss, the once-powerful interior minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef., who was ousted from the line of succession by the current crown prince in 2017.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2021

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