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Ex-Saudi Official Claims Damaging Intel10/25 06:04

   

   DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A former senior Saudi security official 
who helped oversee joint counter-terrorism efforts with the United States 
claimed in an interview with "60 Minutes" that the kingdom'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 program, which aired 
Sunday.

   The ex-intelligence official, who resides in exile in Canada, claimed 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 his 
half-brother, King Abdullah, died of stated natural causes.

   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 to the country. 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.

   Al-Jabri, 62, claims the crown prince will not rest until "he sees me dead" 
because "he fears my information." He described Prince Mohammed as "a 
psychopath, killer."

   The crown prince drew global outcry after it emerged that aides who worked 
for him had killed Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in 
Turkey in October 2018. After recordings from inside the consulate were leaked 
by Turkish authorities, the Saudis claimed it had been an effort meant to 
forcibly bring Khashoggi back to the country, and that it went awry. The crown 
prince denied any knowledge of the operation, despite a U.S. intelligence 
assessment to the contrary.

   Al-Jabri claimed that in a 2014 meeting with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who 
was head of intelligence as interior minister at the time, the much younger 
Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he could kill King Abdullah to make way for his 
father's rise to the throne.

   "He told him, 'I want to assassinate King Abdullah. I get a poison ring from 
Russia. It's enough for me just to shake hand(s) with him and he will be 
done,'" Al-Jabri said, claiming that Saudi intelligence took the threat 
seriously. The issue was handled within the royal family, al-Jabri said.

   A video recording of that meeting still exists, he said.

   The Saudi government told CBS News that al-Jabri is "a discredited former 
government official with a long history of fabricating and creating 
distractions to hide the financial crimes he committed." The government has 
issued extradition requests and Interpol notices for al-Jabri, alleging he is 
wanted for corruption. Al-Jabri claims his wealth comes from the generosity of 
the kings he's served.

   While it is not the first time al-Jabri has tried to exert pressure on the 
crown prince, it is his first on-record interview since his son Omar al-Jabri, 
23, and daughter Sarah al-Jabri, 21, were detained in March 2020 in Riyadh, 
Saudi Arabia. A son-in-law was allegedly kidnapped from a third country, 
forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia, tortured and detained.

   Human Rights Watch says the arrest of family members is an apparent effort 
to coerce al-Jabri to return to Saudi Arabia. A Saudi court sentenced his son 
and daughter to nine and six-and-a-half years in prison, respectively, for 
money laundering and unlawfully attempting to flee Saudi Arabia, according to 
the rights group. An appeals court reportedly upheld the prison sentence in 
May, without informing the family.

   Al-Jabri has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States against the Saudi 
crown prince, alleging the royal tried to trap and kill him in the U.S. and 
Canada.

   Meanwhile, Saudi entities are suing him in the U.S. and Canada, claiming he 
stole some half-a-billion dollars from the counterterrorism budget. A Canadian 
judge has frozen his assets due to purported evidence of fraud as the case 
proceeds, according to the CBS News report.

 
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