New accusations keep Saudi crown prince in the limelight

New accusations keep Saudi crown prince in the limelight
New accusations keep Saudi crown prince in the limelight

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details New accusations keep Saudi crown prince in the limelight in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The constant stream of accusations against Crown Prince Mohammed seems to be methodical and systematic.

A 2019 file picture of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (DPA)

MONTREAL - A former Saudi intelligence officer has accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz of seeking to assassinate him outside the country, bringing to mind the case of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The nature and the timing of the new accusation against Crown Prince Mohammed seems aimed at keeping the young prince, who in recent years has clearly emerged at the forefront of the Saudi scene and gained a solid standing in the governance system by combining his positions as crown prince and defence minister even amid constant pressure of successive accusations that have hardly given him the chance to catch his breath, from recapturing his balance and mounting his defence.

The constant stream of accusations against Crown Prince Mohammed seem to be methodical and systematic. Not only have they kept the pressure on the prince, they have also provided sensationalist material for the media.

While the Khashoggi case had begun to gradually fade away from the limelight over the past months after Saudi Arabia adhered to the judicial path it took to address it despite a campaign questioning the integrity of its course of action, and despite the tremendous media and international pressure brought to bear on the case, a new case has emerged, brought about this time by Saad al-Jabri, former advisor to the former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef. Jabri claimed he fled Saudi Arabia and is now in Canada, fearing for his personal safety and escaping unwarranted persecution by Saudi authorities.

Last week the Jabri case witnessed a dramatic development, when the former adviser and intelligence officer filed a lawsuit in a US court accusing Crown Prince Mohammed of sending a team to assassinate him in Canada in 2018.

As for the motives of the alleged assassination attempt, Reuters quoted sources it described as “knowledgeable” about the case but without mentioning their identities as saying that Jabri “is familiar with documents containing sensitive information that the crown prince fears will bring him harm.”

According to the lawsuit filed at a federal court in the US District of Columbia, Crown Prince Mohammed sent an assassination squad to Canada in October 2018 with the aim of eliminating Jabri. The team “travelled from Saudi Arabia across the Atlantic with the intention of killing,” and “it was composed of members of a special force close to the crown prince called the Tiger Squad, and its members carried two bags containing criminal investigation tools, and that they had among them someone who knew how to wipe out evidence from the scene of a crime," the suit alleges.

The 107-page suit, which also included charges against 24 other people, stated that the men tried to enter Canada surreptitiously by traveling on tourist visas and pretending not to know each other. But Canadian border officers were suspicious of the men when they found a picture showing some of them together, “which uncovered their untruthful statements and thwarted their mission.”

The lawsuit placed the alleged assassination attempt at less than two weeks after Khashoggi’s assassination in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

The accusations against the Saudi crown prince have been the subject of intense coverage in the Canadian press, which also reported that Jabri, has received new threats from Saudi authorities that have required him to receive increased protection measures after his lawsuit against the crown prince.

The Globe and Mail newspaper said that Canadian security services were informed of an attempted assault on Jabri, who lives in a secret location in Toronto. The paper, however, clarified that its source of information, “a source familiar with the case,” did not give additional details about the latest alleged threat from Saudi agents.

The article stated that aJabri was placed under the protection of heavily-armed members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in addition to bodyguards.

As targeting Crown Prince Mohammad with accusations has become more common, observers of Saudi affairs have been quick to draw a link between the effect of that phenomenon on the political scene in the kingdom and the future of governance in it. They said that the goal of the campaign is to target the unity of the ruling family and its internal cohesion, given that the Jabri case is organically linked to the situation of former crown prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, and his stance on the changes that have taken place in the kingdom in recent years. Observers, however, are in agreement that there are no reliable indications regarding the impact of the stream of accusations directed against the crown prince on the ruling machine in Saudi Arabia.

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