(CNN) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is a “psychopath” who “poses a threat to his people, to the Americans and to the planet,” said a former senior Saudi intelligence official now living in exile in Canada.
In a interview on CBS News “60 Minutes” which aired on Sunday, Saad Aljabri described seeing a recording of a meeting that allegedly took place in 2014 between MBS and his cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), who was Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief at the time. “The [MBS] Told him [a MBN]I love assassinate king abdullah. I get a poison ring from Russia. All I have to do is shake his hand and it’s done,” Aljabri said. “That’s what he says. Either he’s showing off or, but he said it and we take it seriously.”
The father of the crown prince, the king salmanascended to the throne in January 2015 after the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah, at the age of 90.
MBS became crown prince after a power struggle with his cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, who was deposed and He has been under house arrest since June 2017. Aljabri worked closely with MBN for years as the kingdom’s intelligence number two.
During the interview, Aljabri also repeated allegations that MBS, Saudi Arabia’s young de facto ruler, conspired to send a hit squad to assassinate him in Canada three years ago, and has jailed two of Aljabri’s children, Sarah and Omar, in Saudi Arabia.
Aljabri told CBS that he was warned in 2018 that a team of Saudi hitmen was heading to Canada to kill him. He said the warning came days after the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Aljabri claims he was told, “…don’t go near any Saudi mission in Canada. Don’t go to the consulate. Don’t go to the embassy. I questioned why. He said, they dismembered the guy, killed him. You’re at the top of the list.”
The alleged assassination plot was previously reported.
In a statement to “60 Minutes,” a Canadian government spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on the specific charges currently before the courts, we are aware of incidents where foreign actors have attempted to monitor, intimidate or threaten Canadians and residents of Canada”.
CBS says Saudi Arabia declined an interview, but the kingdom’s embassy in Washington issued a statement, describing Aljabri as a “disgraced” former government official.
“Saad Aljabri is a discredited former government official with a long history of fabricating and creating diversions to hide the financial crimes he committed, amounting to billions of dollars, to provide a luxurious lifestyle for himself and his family.” says the statement. “He has not denied his wrongdoing; in fact, he implies that stealing was acceptable at the time. But it was not acceptable or legal then, and it is not now.”
A group of Saudi companies owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, which the prince controls, sued Aljabri in the United States and Canada, claiming that he stole money from the anti-terrorism budget. Aljabri denied those claims in the interview.
The former agent says he now speaks for his two sons, who are imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, saying: “I am calling on the American people and the United States government to help me free these children and bring them back to life.”
Former Saudi intelligence agent describes the crown prince as “a psychopath” who bragged he could kill the sitting monarch in 2014