Monday 06 July 2020

Children of ex-Saudi official in exile missing since detention in March: Family

The two children of a former Saudi intelligence officer, who has been lying low abroad since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to power, “have disappeared” since their detention in March, their brother says.

According to Press TV, the disappearance of Omar and Sarah, son and daughter of Saad al-Jabri — who has lived in exile in Canada since 2017 —showed how Saudi’s de facto ruler had used the children of his perceived enemies against them, Khalid, the siblings’ older brother told the British daily newspaper Guardian on Wednesday.

Their father was a senior aide to the deposed former Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and served as the primary Saudi liaison to Western spy agencies.

Bin Nayef, who was always regarded as the senior royal figure closest to western governments, briefly became heir to the throne but was ousted in a palace coup in 2017.

Fearing for his life, Jabri, who was abroad at the time, decided not to return home.

His children were arrested 10 days after the detention of bin Nayef and another senior prince, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a brother of King Salman and an uncle of bin Salman, also known as MbS.

Prior to his detention, bin Nayef had effectively been under house arrest since his ouster in the 2017 coup that brought MbS to power.

In his talks with Guardian, Khalid, now living in Canada, described the detentions of his siblings as an act of vengeance by the crown prince to force the father to return to Saudi Arabia.

He said that Sarah and Omar were among the first victims of the kingdom’s purge of royal family members over an alleged coup attempt to unseat King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son MBS.

Their ordeal began on the day Prince Mohammed became crown prince in 2017, said Khalid.

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