A former top Saudi intelligence official was chased and harassed in Canada by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the country’s crown prince and next in line to the throne, ruthlessly tightening his grip on power, as reported by the Middle East Eye.
Saad al-Jabri was a top aide to former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef for years in the kingdom's interior ministry. He was removed from his post by King Salman in 2015, a move that was not officially explained, and led to speculation that it reflected wider tension within the ruling elite. After he fled to Canada in 2017, the Canadian government gave refugee status to al-Jabri, which created a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Riyadh in 2018.
The move came after the arrest of two senior princes last week that triggered speculation about a possible coup attempt or a sudden deterioration in the king's health. The arrests of the king's younger and beloved brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz, and the king's nephew and former counterterrorism czar, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, sent a message to anyone in the royal family feeling disenfranchised, according to a source in Saudi Arabia with knowledge of the arrests, as reported by The Associated Press (AP).
MBS was the second crown prince before Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was shunted out of the line of succession in mid-2017. In the same year, dozens of Saudi royals, former state officials and influential businessmen were rounded up in an anti-corruption sweep as MBS remained the only crown prince since then. He pursued an unusual method in the kingdom’s domestic politics and destroyed the dynastic balance in the internal political structure to eliminate the threats that may be directed at him.
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