The young prince held no significant role in government at the time, and it was unclear whether he was “just bragging,” Aljabri said. But intelligence officials took the threat seriously, he said, and the matter was handled by the royal family. The crown prince’s father, King Salman, ascended to the throne in January 2015 after his half brother, King Abdullah, died of stated natural causes.
Aljabri, once a high-ranking Saudi official whom the CIA credits with helping save hundreds of American lives from terrorist attacks, didn’t provide any evidence to “60 Minutes.” He did not seem to have heard the threat firsthand, but he said video recordings still exist of the alleged 2014 meeting between the crown prince and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was head of intelligence at the time. Aljabri was a close aide to the intelligence head, a trusted CIA ally who was ousted from the line of succession in 2017.
Sunday’s interview was Aljabri’s latest move to try to pressure the 36-year-old crown prince into releasing his son Omar and daughter Sarah, whom the family alleges have been detained in an attempt to force their father back to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The crown prince drew global condemnation after it emerged that aides who worked for him killed Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. The U.S. Treasury in February sanctioned Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force, also known as the “Tiger Squad,” over the killing. A U.S. intelligence report released that month concluded that Mohammed “approved” the operation.
In his own interview with “60 Minutes” in 2019, Mohammed described the killing of Khashoggi as a “heinous crime” and a mistake, and denied ordering it, but he did say he was responsible as “a leader in Saudi Arabia.”
During his interview, Aljabri said the crown prince “poses a threat to his people, to the Americans and to the planet.” He also said he has recorded a video that unveils more secrets about the Saudi royals, and some about the United States, that he said could be released if he is killed. He shared a short, silent clip with a “60 Minutes” correspondent.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington told “60 Minutes” that Aljabri is “a discredited former government official with a long history of fabricating and creating distractions to hide the financial crimes he committed.” The Saudi government has issued extradition requests and Interpol notices for Aljabri, who says his wealth comes from the generosity of the kings he has served, the Associated Press reported.
Those who have previously spoken on Aljabri’s behalf include Michael Morell, who was acting director of the CIA under President Barack Obama, and George Tenet, who served as CIA director in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
Morell told “60 Minutes” that he “found him to be incredibly loyal to his country” and described him as “honorable.”