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Saudi authorities 'arrest' family of exiled top intelligence officer Saad al-Jabri: reports

Al-Jabri is the first former official to publicly accuse MbS of silencing critics [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2020

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The relatives of Saad al-Jabri, who is said to hold key state secrets, were detained in Saudi Arabia, reports said.
Saudi authorities are reportedly carrying out a new string of arrests against relatives of former intelligence officer Saad al-Jabri, believed to be in possession of classified documents that could compromise the kingdom's rulers.

Citing a tweet by a Saudi rights observer, reports on Saturday said al-Jabri's relatives were arrested.

Al-Jabri, who is currently exiled in Canada, worked at the Saudi interior ministry for nearly four decades, during which he was promoted to the rank of major general – giving him access to important state documents. 

The former official was also a trusted advisor to the previous Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef (MbN), who was forced by the current Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS) to step down as the heir in 2017. 

In recent months, MbS has arrested two of al-Jabri's children, 21-year old Omar and 20-year old Sarah, to try to force his return to the kingdom from exile in Canada.

Both are still being held incommunicado detention according to recent comments made by al-Jabri.

Just days before their arrests in March, MBN was also detained in a wide-scale crackdown aimed at consolidating MbS's power.

Read also: Saad al-Jabri: How MbS' Khashoggi-style plot against exiled rival could impact relations with Washington

The former official is wanted by authorities over his role as MbN's right-hand man over allegations of corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

Earlier in the month, The Globe and Mail said Canadian security services had been informed of an attempted attack on al-Jabri and placed him under heightened security after he filed a 106-page civil lawsuit alleging MbS sent a team of hitmen to Canada.

Al-Jabri has been targeted by MbS due to his knowledge of the crown prince and close relationship with Washington, the unproven lawsuit claims.

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