Saudi dissident claims MBS talked about using 'poison ring' to kill King

Saad al-Jabri has in the past accused Saudi crown prince MBS of plotting to kill him weeks after the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. An assessment by the US officials claimed that Khashoggi was killed in an operation approved by the Saudi crown prince.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known by his initials MBS, has been pushing to create a “moderate” Saudi Arabia.(AP File Photo)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known by his initials MBS, has been pushing to create a “moderate” Saudi Arabia.(AP File Photo)
Published on Oct 25, 2021 12:50 PM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A Saudia Arabian dissident has claimed that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman once boasted about killing the kingdom's former monarch. Saad al-Jabri made the claim on CBS News' "60 Minutes" programme, which aired on Sunday.

Al-Jabri did not provide evidence on the news programme, but this is among the several unproven allegations he has made against the Saudi crown prince. Speaking to CBS News later, Saudi authorities described him as "a discredited former government official".

Al-Jabri now resides in Canada. He claimed that in 2014 meeting with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was head of intelligence as interior minister at the time, MBS (as the crown prince is popularly known) boasted that he could kill King Abdullah. At the time, Prince Mohammed held no senior role in government but was serving as gatekeeper to the royal court of his father, at the time still heir to the throne.

"He told him 'I want to assassinate King Abdullah. I get a poison ring from Russia. It's enough for me just to shake hand(s) with him and he will be done'," Al-Jabri said, claiming that Saudi intelligence took the threat seriously. The issue was handled within the royal family, al-Jabri said.

A video recording of that meeting still exists, he claimed.

King Salman ascended to the throne in January 2015 after his half-brother, King Abdullah, died of a lung infection at a hospital. It was later declared that the death was due to natural causes.

Al-Jabri has in the past accused MBS of plotting to kill him weeks after the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. An assessment by the US officials claimed that Khashoggi was killed in an operation approved by the Saudi crown prince.

A short, silent clip was shown to "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley. The video, al-Jabri said, could be released if he's killed. He described Prince Mohammed as "a psychopath, killer."

The killing of Khashoggi

Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in October 2018.

After recordings from inside the consulate were leaked by Turkish authorities, the Saudis claimed it had been an effort meant to forcibly bring Khashoggi back to the country, and that it went awry.

The crown prince denied any knowledge of the operation, despite a US intelligence assessment to the contrary.

This is al-Jabri's first on-record interview since his son Omar al-Jabri, 23, and daughter Sarah al-Jabri, 21, were detained in March 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Human Rights Watch says the arrest of family members is an apparent effort to coerce al-Jabri to return to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi court sentenced his son and daughter to nine and six-and-a-half years in prison, respectively, for money laundering and unlawfully attempting to flee Saudi Arabia, according to the rights group.

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