RIYADH (Dispatches) – Lawyers have filed an amended complaint in the U.S.-based lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) containing allegations about attempts to "lure” an ex-spymaster’s family to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and summons for two alleged members of the "Tiger” hit squad.
The amended complaint, filed on behalf of ex-Saudi intelligence officer Saad al-Jabri, claims MbS ordered a hit squad to assassinate al-Jabri in Canada, where he now resides, in 2018, but the attempt was "thwarted” by airport security.
It further alleges that Ahmed Abdullah Fahad al-Bawardi and Bader Mueedh Saif al-Qahtani are both "Saudi” and members of "the Tiger Squad” who obtained Canadian tourist visas in May 2018 and then flew to Canada to follow through on the hit order in October 2018.
Lawyers for al-Jabri said in filings that he was viewed as a threat due to his role as a top aide to former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was overthrown in a 2017 palace coup and crackdown after which MbS became the country’s de facto ruler.
According to the court filing, the assassination attempt by the hit squad, dubbed the "Tiger Squad”, took place 13 days after members of the Tiger Squad were involved in the high-profile killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. The plan failed after the Saudi agents were not able to get past Canadian border patrol.
"If the allegations in this Complaint seem fantastical, that is only because it is difficult to fathom the depths of depravity of Defendant bin Salman and the men he empowered to carry out his will,” the complaint said.
"But make no mistake: the attempt to kill Dr. Saad, just like the completed killing of Jamal Khashoggi days before, was not a one-off incident, but rather the way Defendant bin Salman regularly operated in the years leading up to the fateful events of 2018.”
Since June 2017, two of al-Jabri’s children, Sarah and Omar, have been prohibited from leaving Saudi Arabia, raising concerns around the world that they are being used to secure al-Jabri’s return.
Not content with only two of his children under his control, the amended filing alleged, bin Salman tried to lure al-Jabri’s daughter, Hissah al-Muzaini, to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul just days before the brutal murder of Khashoggi there.
The complaint added that a close aide to MbS pressured Hissah’s husband, Salem Almuzaini, to convince Hissah to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to renew her passport even if she had no intention of returning to the kingdom. It was only after Khashoggi’s murder that they learned the fate awaiting her had she entered the consulate.