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Thu May 28, 2020, 11:28 PM

This former intelligence official was a hero. He's now the target of a brutal campaign by MBS.

Source: Washington Post

This former intelligence official was a hero. He’s now the target of a brutal campaign by MBS.

By David Ignatius
5/28/2020, 7:19:30 p.m.

For intelligence officers, there’s a special horror at abandoning colleagues who helped fight common enemies. There’s a sense of moral betrayal and shattered trust — a violation of the unwritten rules of the spy trade.

Some former senior U.S. and British spymasters are feeling that shock to the conscience now, as they watch the plight of Saad Aljabri, a former top Saudi intelligence officer who helped build the kingdom’s counterterrorism capability — and in the process provided what intelligence officials describe as invaluable help to the West.

Aljabri’s son Khalid, a cardiologist who lives with his father in Toronto, said during interviews that two of his younger siblings — Omar, 21, and Sarah, 20 — were seized and imprisoned in mid-March by the regime of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is often referred to as MBS, as leverage to force their father to return to the kingdom from exile in Canada.

MBS’s squeeze on a former pillar of the kingdom’s counterterrorism program stuns those who have dealt with Aljabri. The crown prince’s allies have circulated accusations: that Aljabri knows about theft of operational funds by him and his patron, deposed crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and that he’s a sympathizer of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Khalid Aljabri rejected the allegations: “These are baseless claims, and we have proof that they are politically motivated. Whatever allegations they make, nothing justifies holding his children as hostages.” Saad Aljabri declined to comment.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/28/this-former-intelligence-official-was-hero-hes-now-target-brutal-campaign-by-mbs/

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