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Ex-Saudi intelligence czar under heightened security in Canada following new threats

August 10, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman poses prior to a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Presidential Palace on 10 April, 2018 in Paris, France [Chesnot/Getty Images]

Former Saudi intelligence czar, Saad Al-Jabri, who last week made the explosive allegation that Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman had made several attempts to assassinate him, has been placed under heightened security in Canada after a new threat against his life.

Agents of the crown prince are said to be still on the hunt for Al-Jabri. The 62-year-old filed a lawsuit in the US last week in which he details a long campaign involving threat and intimidation to force him return to the kingdom. The former intelligence chief also claimed that Bin Salman tried to have him assassinated in the same manner as Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Al-Jabri fled the kingdom in 2017. He now lives at an undisclosed location in the Toronto region. That hasn’t stopped Bin Salam, known popularly as MBS, of trying to silence him once and for all, Canadian sources are reported.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation the Globe and Mail reported that Canadian security agencies were recently alerted to a new attempt to assassinate Al-Jabri. Though the source would not provide further details of the recent assassination, it is claimed that Al-Jabri has been placed under protection by “heavily armed” officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as private guards.

READ: Bin Salman ordered hit squad to kill former official, claims lawsuit

The Globe and Mail spoke to a number of people to ascertain the veracity of the claim made by Al-Jabri. Richard Fadden, a former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service who also served as national security adviser to two prime ministers, said Al-Jabri’s court-filed allegations are plausible.

“I know Mohammed bin Salman has been after [Al-Jabri] for awhile. I know MBS is a pretty vicious sort of guy – witness Khashoggi – so putting two and two together, I do come up with four. So fundamentally, on the substance of it, I believe him,” he said. “Every little detail is a different issue.”

University of Waterloo political science Professor Bessma Momani, an expert in Mideast politics, is another who expressed confidence in Al-Jabri’s allegations.

Al-Jabri became a marked man because of his close ties with the US intelligence community and his “intimate” knowledge of Bin Salman’s activities. He is said to have the potential to be able to undermine the crown prince’s influence and support in the Trump White House.

In 2017, Al-Jabari fell out of favour following the soft-coup which saw Bin Salman replace Mohammed Bin Nayef as Crown Prince. The intelligence official left the kingdom and settled in Turkey before moving to Canada, while the prince moved against domestic allies of Nayef, who by then had been placed under house arrest.