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Saad bin Khalid Al Jabry
Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri (Arabic: سعد بن خالد بن سعد الله الجابري‎‎) is a former major-general, minister of state and long-time adviser to deposed Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia. He has been living in exile in Canada since May 2017.[1][2]
Saad bin Khalid Al Jabry
سعد بن خالد بن سعد الله الجابري
Born1958/1959 (age 61–62)[1]
Ha'il, Saudi Arabia
Years activeLate 1990s–2017
Early life and education
Al Jabri's father died when he was a boy in Ha'il. To support his family, he attended a police academy then worked as a police officer in Taif.[1]
Al Jabri obtained a bachelor's degree in Security Sciences from King Fahd Security College in Riyadh. Then he obtained another bachelor's degree in Arabic language and literature from Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, and a diploma in computer programming from the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh. He also holds a master's degree in computer science from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in the late 1980s. Next he received a doctorate degree in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh in 1997.[1]
Career
Following the completion of his doctoral studies Al Jabri went, at the behest of then-minister of interior Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to work within the ministry of interior where he taught at the King Fahd Security College.[1]
Over the following two decades Al Jabri became an ally and key adviser to Muhammad bin Nayef. He was a mainstay link between Saudi Arabia and western intelligence agencies, including the Five Eyes alliance, and was credited with helping Muhammad bin Nayef transform and modernise the Saudi security services and their counter-terrorism methods.[2]
As of 2003 Al Jabri was the chief of staff and following the Riyadh compound bombings their focus shifted to Al-Qaeda. Changes to counter-terrorism methods were introduced including rehabilitation programs and closer information sharing with western intelligence agencies. It is claimed the reforms were instrumental in the foiling of the 2010 transatlantic aircraft bomb plot.[1][2]
In July 2015, and with the agreement of then-minister of interior and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, Al Jabri attended meetings with then-CIA Director John Brennan at CIA headquarters and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in London. The following month he visited the White House to discuss the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. Despite briefing the royal court upon his return it is claimed that Mohammed bin Salman felt Al Jabri was "plotting" with bin Nayef against him. He was dismissed from his governmental positions on 10 September 2015.[1][3]
Exile
After his dismissal from government, Al Jabri continued advising Mohammed bin Nayef in a personal capacity until he departed Saudi Arabia on 17 May 2017. He remained abroad following the ousting of Muhammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince the following month and later took refuge in Canada.[1][3] Thomas Juneau, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, stated that Al Jabri and other Saudis who had fled the kingdom were justifiably concerned about their safety. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, explained why Al Jabri kept a low profile after arriving in Canada: "I think he's scared. Wouldn't you be?"[4]
In September 2017, Al Jabri's son-in-law was allegedly rendered from Dubai to Saudi Arabia. His wife was in Turkey at the time and he tried to persuade her to attend the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul from where, Khalid al-Jabri suspects, she would have been abducted.[5]
On 16 March 2020 two of his children, Sarah and Omar, who were already barred from leaving the Kingdom,[6] were detained by Saudi security officers. Their elder brother Khalid Al Jabri believes that they were to be used as bargaining chips to force their father to return to Saudi Arabia.[2] Neither Sarah nor Omar have been heard from since they were taken and their current whereabouts are unknown.[7]
The family sought the assistance of the US authorities in their quest for information about the pair and Tim Rieser, a senior aide to Senator Patrick Leahy, confirmed that Leahy's office is pushing for both information about their location and their release. Rieser stated, "It seems that they’re being used as hostages to try and coerce their father to return to Saudi Arabia".[8][9]
In May 2020, Al Jabri's brother, Abdulrahman, was also detained.[10][11]
In June 2020, Lord Hylton, queried what steps the British government were taking over the arrests of Al Jabri's children and brother, he was duly advised that they are "monitoring this case closely" and are "concerned" about numerous detainees held by the Saudi government.[12]
On 7 July 2020, Senators Patrick Leahy, Tim Kaine, Chris Van Hollen and Marco Rubio wrote to President Donald Trump urging him to press for the release of Al Jabri's children. Calling him a "highly valued partner" they said: "the US has a moral obligation to do what it can to assist in securing his children's freedom".[13] In response, the Department of State noted that it had "repeatedly" requested that Saudi officials "clarify the status" of Al Jabri's children,[14] and undertook to: “continue to engage Saudi counterparts to resolve this situation in a manner that honours Dr Aljabri’s service to our country".[15]
According to the lawsuit filed on 6 August 2020 against Saudi Arabia's crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman by ex-Saudi intelligence official Saad Al Jabri, the ruler, during his tenure as the defense minister, encouraged Russia to intervene in Syria war, in support of Bassar Al Assad.[16]
Allegations of corruption
In September 2017, Saudi authorities sought Al Jabri's arrest. According to Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, an Interpol Red Notice was requested,[17] whereas The New York Times, which claimed to have viewed relevant Interpol documentation, a less formal 'diffusion' was filed.[18] According to Al Jabri's son, Khalid, the request was viewed as "politically motivated".[19] Al-Jabri successfully petitioned to have his name removed from the Interpol system in July 2018, with the Commission noting “the lack of due process and human rights guarantees” in previous corruption cases.[18][20]
Despite having no extradition treaty with Canada, Saudi authorities have twice requested that Canada extradite Al Jabri; in 2018[17] and again in 2019.[21]
The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi officials claimed that Al Jabri is wanted over missing funds which were allegedly "misused" during his time in the interior ministry. In response to the claims his son, Khalid, stated that the family welcome impartial "due process that doesn't include attempts to induce harm or extortion through child hostage-taking."[22][23] Following the publication of the claims in The Wall Street Journal, Al Jabri was targeted by "pro-government" Twitter users, in response his son Khalid told Reuters that the campaign was a “deflection from the actual story: hostage taking of my brother and sister, unlawful persecution and false allegations”.[24]
Assassination attempt
A few days after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, Mohammad bin Salman attempted to send Tiger Squad to Canada to assassinate Al Jabri, according to a lawsuit filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act[25] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in August 2020.[26] However, border agents at Toronto Pearson International Airport stopped the group and refused them entry into Canada.[27] Described as an "active threat"[5] by Canadian media, further claims of more recent attempts to kill Al Jabri have materialised, leading to him being guarded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as private security.[25] In response to the claims Bill Blair, Canada's Minister of Public Safety, stated: “we are aware of incidents which foreign actors have attempted to monitor, intimidate or threaten Canadians and those living in Canada [...] we will never tolerate foreign actors threatening Canada’s national security or the safety of our citizens and residents".[25]
Personal life
Al Jabri is married to Nadyah and they have six sons and two daughters.[7] In June 2020 the family reported that two of his children had been disappeared.[7]
References
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h David Ignatius (29 May 2020). "This former intelligence official was a hero. He's now the target of a brutal campaign by MBS". The Washington Post.
  2. ^ a b c d "Family of exiled top Saudi officer Saad al-Jabri 'targeted'". BBC News. 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b David Ignatius (27 November 2018). "The Khashoggi killing had roots in a cutthroat Saudi family feud". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ Dania Akkad (11 March 2020). "Top Saudi intelligence official 'chased' to Canada by MBS". Middle East Eye.
  5. ^ a b "Former Saudi intelligence chief faces new death threat". The Globe and Mail. 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Family of ex-Saudi intelligence officer being targeted: Report". Al Jazeera.
  7. ^ a b c Stephanie Kirchgaessner (3 June 2020). "'Sarah and Omar have disappeared': children of ex-Saudi official missing since March". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "Saudi leadership pressures former intelligence official's family, seeks access to documents". Reuters. 23 June 2020.
  9. ^ "MBS pressures ex-intel official's family over documents: Report". www.aljazeera.com.
  10. ^ Ben Hubbard (21 May 2020). "As Saudi Official Hid Abroad, His Family Became a Target at Home". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "MBS seized my children, says exiled Saudi spy chief Saad al-Jabri". Times of London.
  12. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Arrests:Written question - HL5198". UK Parliament.
  13. ^ "US senators press Trump over detention of Saudi ex-spy's children". Al Jazeera. 10 July 2020.
  14. ^ "US State Dept asks Saudi Arabia about ex-spy's detained children". Al Jazeera. 7 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Saudi detention of ex-official's children prompts rare rebuke from Trump administration". The Guardian. 7 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Saudi strongman 'encouraged' Russia intervention in Syria, lawsuit claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia presses Canada to end refuge for Saad Aljabri, ex-intelligence officer". Globe & Mail.
  18. ^ a b Ben Hubbard (24 July 2020). "A Saudi Spy Chief Hid Abroad. With Appeals and Threats, M.B.S. Tried to Bring Him Back". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Ignatius, David. "Saudi Arabia's crown prince uses travel restrictions to consolidate power". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ "Interpol rejects Saudi request to extradite ex-spy chief: Report". Middle East Eye.
  21. ^ "Saudi Game of Thrones: Former intelligence figure is newest MBS target". TRT World.
  22. ^ "Saudi Arabia Wants Its Fugitive Spymaster Back". Wall Street Journal. 17 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Senators press Trump to Help Free Children of Saudi Ex-Official". Bloomberg. 9 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Saudi social media campaign targets former crown prince". Reuters. 20 July 2020.
  25. ^ a b c "Saudi ex-spy suing crown prince faces fresh death threat in Canada – report". The Guardian. 9 August 2020.
  26. ^ Douglas Quan (6 August 2020). "Saudi hit squad was sent to Toronto to try to kill former intel official, lawsuit alleges". Toronto Star. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  27. ^ "Saudi crown prince accused of sending hit squad to Canada". BBC News. 6 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
Last edited on 16 November 2020, at 20:42
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