Former Saudi spy chief with Maltese citizenship alleges assassination plot by Crown Prince

Former Saudi Arabia intelligence official Saad al-Jabri, a Maltese citizen, files lawsuit over attempted assassination by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: AP)
Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: AP)

A former Saudi Arabian intelligence officer, who also holds Maltese citizenship, has accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of sending a hit squad to Canada to kill him.

Saad al-Jabri, a former Saudi spy, made the accusation in a lawsuit filed in the US against the Crown Prince.

Al-Jabri, 61, is a dual Saudi and Maltese citizen. It is understood that he obtained citizenship for himself and children through the Individual Investor Programme.

Al-Jabri's children, Omar, 21, and Sarah, 20, are also Maltese citizens and are reported to have gone missing inside Saudi Arabia after they were stopped from joining their father who is in exile in Canada.

Al-Jabri was a close ally of the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was ousted by bin Salman in June 2017.

Bin Salman, is being sued for damages over an “attempted extrajudicial killing” two weeks after the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate.

The civil suit also states that men armed with “two bags of forensic tools” tried entering Canada using tourist visas but were prevented from doing so by border control in Toronto.

Jabri, a veteran of the Saudi government, fled to Turkey in 2017 and then to Toronto.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington’s district court, claims that among the men was “an instructor in the exact same criminal evidence department as the forensic specialist who dismembered Mr Khashoggi with a bone saw.”

Jabri is also claiming that the crown prince is using his children as “human bait” to keep him out of hiding.

Last month four US senators wrote to President Donald Trump raising concerns about the “enforced disappearance” of Jabri’s children and describing the dissident as a “close ally and friend”.

Jabri is said to have close ties to the US intelligence community.

The New York Times had also reported bin Salman had tried having al Jabri arrested by Interpol over corruption charges.

The law suit also says that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had warned al Jabri’s son in 2018 about a possible threat to the family.

In October, the law suit alleges, bin Salman tracked the former intelligence official in Canada.

The hit squad arrived at Toronto airport, but was denied entrance by officials. They tried avoiding detection by entering separately.

Despite claiming they did not know each other, officials had found a photo of them together.

All but one, bearing a diplomatic passport, were refused entry.