A former Saudi counter-terrorism official has filed a court document in the US against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, alleging the royal tried to trap and kill him in the US and Canada.
The claim filed by Saad Aljabri is his latest effort to try to bring about international and public pressure on the prince after years of silence in exile abroad.
Mr Aljabri claims the crown prince has detained two of his children in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to force him back to the kingdom because of the sensitive information he knows regarding the inner workings of the royal court and leadership.
He also alleges the prince’s efforts to kill him continue to this day.
We were left with no other choice but to seek justice and accountability in a US federal courtKhalid Aljabri
Attempts by Saudi Arabia to forcibly return certain citizens who reside abroad began attracting global attention after the killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents who worked for the crown prince.
Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in an operation the Saudis claim was initially an effort to forcibly bring him back to Saudi Arabia.
The crown prince denies any knowledge of the operation but Western intelligence agencies and the US Senate have declared the prince ultimately responsible for Mr Khashoggi’s killing.
Mr Aljabri’s complaint follows years of silence by the former intelligence official, who left the kingdom quietly around the time his former boss, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, fell from power.
In a press release accompanying details of the complaint, it is claimed Mr Aljabri is being targeted for suspicion that his close relationship with members of the CIA helped the agency reach its conclusions about the prince’s alleged involvement in Mr Khashoggi’s death.
He claims the crown prince deployed operatives into the US to track him down and that members of a “kill team” were dispatched for him in Canada just two weeks after the same squad killed Mr Khashoggi in October 2018.
The statement claims the effort was thwarted by Canadian border security officials.
The document, filed in the US District Court of Washington, names a number of Saudi officials as defendants, including Saud al-Qahtani and Ahmed Assiri, former top advisers to the crown prince who were implicated in the killing of Mr Khashoggi but were found not guilty by a Saudi court.
Bader al-Asaker, a close confidante of the crown prince and secretary-general of MiSK, a non-profit founded by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is also named.
In recent months, Mr Aljabri’s son Khalid Aljabri has been speaking to some U.S. media outlets, such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times, about his father and detained siblings, Sarah and Omar.
“After exhausting every single avenue for a peaceful remedy, we were left with no other choice but to seek justice and accountability in a US federal court,” he said in a public statement.