A former Saudi spy boss who tipped off US authorities about bombs addressed to Chicago synagogues has accused the kingdom’s rulers of trying to kill him.
Saad Aljabri, who now lives in Canada, was one of Saudi Arabia’s highest-ranking intelligence officers for two decades and credited with saving “hundreds if not thousands” of Jewish lives in 2010, according to court documents.
Having fallen out of favour with the new regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in 2018 he says a Saudi hit squad came to Canada to kill him, just two weeks after Saudi-born Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered.
In his complaint, Aljabri’s lawyers say he led a team of spies who infiltrated Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, learning of a 2010 plan “to bomb two US-bound cargo planes through packages with explosive-laden computer printer cartridges”.
The bombs were “addressed to synagogues near Chicago, Illinois and sent by FedEx and UPS”. They were timed to blow up over the United States but intercepted before take-off after Aljabri told former CIA director John Brennan.
Aljabri, who has been warned of threats against his life by Canadian intelligence, said his son and daughter were detained in Saudi Arabia in March and had not been heard from since. The validity of this claim could not be checked.
Court documents say Aljabri’s “combination of deep knowledge and enduring trust by top US officials is why there is virtually no one [that] bin Salman wants dead more than Dr Saad”. Saudi authorities are yet to respond.