- BBC News World
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has suggested using a “poisoned ring” to kill King Abdullah, according to a former Saudi intelligence official.
In an interview broadcast on the program 60 minutes From the US network CBS, former intelligence official Saad al-Jabri said that in 2014 Bin Salman told a cousin that he wanted to carry out a plan to take the throne from his father.
The Saudi government has branded Jabri a “disgraced former official with a long record of inventions.”
He said in his interview that the crown prince, ruler de facto and son of King Salman, is a “psychopath, murderer, cwith infinite resources in the middle eastwhich represents a threat to its people, to the Americans and for the planet“.
According to the former agent’s statements, Bin Salman suggested to his cousin Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who in 2014 was Interior Minister, to plan the assassination of King Abdullah.
Back then there was tensions within the ruling family on the succession to the throne.
“I want to assassinate King Abdullah. I can get a poison ring from Russia. It will be enough to squeeze his hand and he will be dead,” bin Salman was quoted as saying by the former official.
“Whether he was joking or not, he said it and we took it seriously,” added the former intelligence agent.
Jabri said the matter was settled privately with the royal court, but the meeting between the cousins was secretly recorded and he knows where two copies of that video are.
King Abdullah died a year later, in 2015, at the age of 90. After his death, the throne passed to his half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, who later appointed Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince.
In 2017, Mohammed bin Nayef was replaced as heir to the throne by Mohammed bin Salman.
He also lost his role as interior minister and was reportedly placed under house arrest before being arrested last year on unknown charges.
Jabri moved to Canada after Nayef was ousted from office.
In the CBS interview, he said he was warned by a friend from another Middle Eastern intelligence service that bin Salman had sent a team to kill him in October 2018, days after Saudi agents assassinated dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
It alleged that a group of six people landed at the Ottawa airport in Canada, but were deported after agents found them with “suspicious luggage to be subjected to DNA analysis.”
Last year Jabri accused the crown prince of attempted murder in a civil lawsuit filed in a US federal court..
Bin Salman denied the accusations and also denied that he had any connection to the murder of the journalist Khashoggi, despite the fact that US intelligence agencies concluded that he would have approved the operation.
The BBC contacted the Saudi government for comment on the allegations.
In a statement sent to CBS, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington called Jabri “a discredited former government official with a long history of inventions and creating distractions to hide the financial crimes he has committed, which amount to billions of dollars, so that he and his family could lead an affluent lifestyle.”
Several Saudi entities sued Jabri for corruption and a judge in Canada froze his assets, citing “overwhelming evidence of fraud.”
The former intelligence agent denied stealing government money and justified that he was generously rewarded for his work.
In March 2020, the Saudi Arabian authorities detained his children, Omar and Sarah, in what human rights groups have described as an effort to force him to return to the country.
Last November, two months after Jabri sued the crown prince, his sons were sentenced to nine and six and a half years in prison, respectively, by a Saudi court for money laundering and “attempting to escape” the country. They denied the charges.
An appeals court later upheld their sentences in a secret hearing at which they were not present.
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