Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman labelled 'psychopath' by former spy

Saudi Arabian ruler Mohammed Bin Salman is a ‘psychopath who poses a threat to the planet’ says nation’s former spy chief who claimed MBS ‘sent hit squad to kill him in Canada’

  • Saad Aljabri claimed the Crown Prince is a ‘killer with no empathy or emotion’ in an alarming interview with ’60 Minutes’ CBS broadcaster Scott Pelley
  • The former intelligence official says MBS plotted to kill him in Canada in 2018 
  • Aljabri’s son, Khalid, described how his brother-in-law was tortured in prison
  • Former CIA director Michael Morell said Aljabri is ‘incredibly loyal to his country’ 
  • Aljabri has been in exile since 2017 fearing for his life and is accused of embezzling over $3bn from state-linked Saudi firms  

A former Saudi intelligence official has alleged on US national television that the kingdom’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is a ‘psychopath killer who poses a threat to the planet’.

Saad Aljabri, who was a top official in Saudi Arabia’s government, claimed the Crown Prince is a man ‘with no empathy, doesn’t feel emotion, and we have witnessed atrocities and crimes committed by this killer,’ in an alarming interview with ’60 Minutes’ interviewer Scott Pelley.

Aljabri, a former intelligence official loyal to the kingdom’s former ruler Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), fled to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 2017 when MBN was ousted by the current Crown Prince.

He alleges that MBS, who is widely thought to have orchestrated the gruesome murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, sent a hit squad to Canada to kill him in 2018, and has since imprisoned two of Aljabri’s children in an attempt to force him to return. 

Aljabri, 62, was joined in the ’60 Minutes’ episode by one of his sons, Khalid, who shared harrowing insight into the alleged torture of Aljabri’s son-in-law in an attempt to force him back to the Kingdom.

The ex-spymaster was also joined by former CIA director Michael Morell, who described Aljabri as ‘extraordinarily bright’ and ‘incredibly loyal to his country’.

Meanwhile, Aljabri stands accused of financial crimes and is the subject of a lawsuit filed by multiple state-linked Saudi firms, who claim he embezzled over $3 billion while working for MBN.

Saad Aljabri, a top official in Saudi Arabia’s government, claimed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plotted to kill him in 2018 (pictured: Aljabri with his daughter Sarah, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused by Aljabri of ordering his assassination. Bin Salman is also widely thought to have ordered the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and his body dismembered by Saudi agents at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. The CIA concluded that he was likely murdered on the orders of the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi had criticized

Aljabri immediately levied allegations against Crown Prince MBS as soon as the interview began.

‘I am here to sound the alarm about a psychopath, killer, in the Middle East with infinite resources, who poses threat to his people, to the Americans and to the planet,’ he exclaimed. 

He went on to accuse MBS of carrying out multiple atrocities and crimes, and said he had evidence of the Crown Prince declaring he wanted to use a ‘poison ring’ to kill the sitting King Abdullah as early as 2014.

‘I expect to be killed one day because [MBS] will not rest off until he see me dead,’ said Aljabri.

A Saudi court jailed two of Saad Aljabri’s adult children, Sarah and Omar, late last year on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully – a move seen by many as retaliation for Aljabri’s alleged crimes. 

Aljabri’s son-in-law was also jailed, and according to Aljabri’s eldest son Khalid, was tortured at the hands of Saudi authorities. 

‘The first night he was kidnapped, he received more than a hundred lashes. He was tortured. He was beaten on his back, on his legs,’ Khalid told Pelley. 

‘He was being told that he was detained and tortured as a proxy for his father-in-law, meaning my dad. They even asked him a question, who do you think we should arrest and torture so Dr. Saad can come back to the kingdom?’

It came after Aljabri filed a federal lawsuit against MBS, alleging the royal tried to trap and kill him in the US and Canada. 

Aljabri’s lawsuit claims a ‘kill team’ was dispatched for him in Canada just two weeks after the same squad killed Khashoggi in October 2018 but that the effort was thwarted by Canadian border security officials. 

But Aljabri himself is currently the subject of a lawsuit from several Saudi firms.

The state-linked company Sakab Saudi Holding accused Aljabri in March of embezzling $3.47 billion while working at the Ministry of Interior under former Crown Prince MBN.

The suit came weeks after multiple state-owned companies sued Aljabri in Toronto on similar allegations, prompting a Canadian court to freeze Aljabri’s assets.  

Former Saudi intelligence official Saad Aljabri with his son Omar in 2016. Omar and Sarah Aljabri are currently being held in a Saudi prison on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully – a move seen by many as retaliation for Aljabri’s alleged crimes

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (pictured) deposed his cousin and former crown prince Mohammad bin Nayef in 2017, under whom Aljabri allegedly embezzled over $3 billion from Saudi firms

MBN was ousted as Crown Prince in 2017 by his cousin MBS, and currently resides in a Saudi prison.

This prompted Aljabri to flee, given his close personal relationship with the former crown prince.  

The Saudi embassy in Washington issued a statement to CBS in response to the interview, which read: ‘Saad Aljabri is a discredited former government official with a long history of fabricating and creating distractions to hide the financial crimes he committed, which amount to billions of dollars, to furnish a lavish life-style for himself and his family. 

‘He has not denied his crimes; in fact he implies that stealing was acceptable at the time. But it wasn’t acceptable nor legal then, and it isn’t now.’

Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted as crown prince in 2017 by his cousin Mohammed bin Salman, and currently resides in a Saudi prison (pictured: bin Nayef with Barack Obama at the White House in 2015)

Since his rise to power in 2017, MBS is the ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and a key US ally. 

But Aljabri is a respected member of the intelligence community in the US and is privy to a variety of state secrets and information concerning counter-terrorism programs.

Aljabri’s legal team previously stated that Sakab – the state-linked company which filed a lawsuit against Aljabri accusing him of embezzlement – is part of a network of front companies to provide cover for clandestine security operations with the United States.

In order to determine Aljabri’s innocence in the case, American courts would need to probe Sakab’s finances, including how they were used to ‘finance sensitive programs’ operated in partnership with the CIA, the US National Security Agency and the US Defense Department, said a filing by Aljabri.

This has left the US reluctant to get involved in the feud between the Saudi state and its former intelligence official. 

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