A former Saudi Arabian intelligence officer has accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of sending an assassination team to hunt him down and kill him just days after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, according to legal papers filed by the alleged target Saad Aljabri. The lawsuit filed in the United States says that the group of assassins tried to enter Canada on tourist visas to kill Aljabri but the mission failed midway.
Aljabri has been living in Canada since 2017 after fleeing Saudi Arabia following a tumultuous coup over the Saudi throne, and the series of purges that followed. He is now a permanent resident of Canada and a respected name in the Western intelligence circles.
Salman's Big Target
Aljabri's lawsuit filed in Washington D.C. says that bin Salman attempted to kill him, including "hunting him down" in the United States and sending a group of assassins to Canada with the material necessary to "clean up the crime". The lawsuit alleges that bin Salman had sent Tiger Squad, part of his personal mercenary group, who tried to enter Canada on tourist visas in 2018 to kill Aljabri.
The members of the group had initially lied to Canadian officials that they didn't know each other but later when border guards found photos of them together, they were denied entry into the country. The incident happened just one year after Aljabri fled Saudi Arabia and refused repeated efforts by the Crown Prince to lure him back to his country or some other place which was more accessible to the Saudis.
Aljabri further says in the lawsuit that the Tiger Squad is the same group of assassins who were ordered to kill Washington Post journalist Khashoggi in 2017. The CIA in 2018 concluded that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's killing.
Plot Gone Wrong
The lawsuit alleges that bin Salman believes that it was Aljabri who had a major role in convincing CIA that Saudi Arabia's government was behind Khashoggi killing. Over the next year, bin Salman tried to lure Aljabri through different means to return to Saudi Arabia but after he failed in his attempts decided to send his most trusted group of assassins to finish the job.
Moreover, bin Salman feels threatened by Aljabri's position as a trusted partner of the US intelligence official, which makes him his biggest target. The Crown Prince also tried to kidnap Aljabri's children to compel him to return home. Later in 2018, before assigning the Tiger Squad to kill him, he also got his 22-year-old son Omar and 20-year-old daughter Sarah.
Other relatives, including his brother too were detained and tortured from time to time. The lawsuit also alleges that "there is virtually no one" bin Salman wants dead more than Aljbari, as a result of these ties to the U.S. intelligence community.