US court issues summons for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
A United States court has issued a summons for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) for a lawsuit filed by a former Saudi intelligence official who alleges he was a victim of a foiled assassination attempt.
The US District Court of the District of Columbia filed the summons on Friday, a day after Saad al-Jabri filed a suit accusing MBS of sending a kill team, known as the Tiger Squad, to Canada to eliminate the ex-intel official.
Within the legal filing, Jabri, who currently resides in Canada, said that his deep knowledge of MBS and his activities have rendered him a target of the crown prince.
Jabri currently lives under increased protection, including police and private security guards.
"Few alive know more about Defendant bin Salman than Dr Saad," the lawsuit read.
"Few places hold more sensitive, humiliating, and damning information about Defendant bin Salman than the mind and memory of Dr Saad—except perhaps the recordings Dr Saad made in anticipation of his killing," the lawsuit read.
A summons is an official notice of a lawsuit, calling for the individuals being sued to appear in court.
In addition to the crown prince, it includes 12 individuals, including former Saudi royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani, former deputy head of military intelligence Ahmed al-Asiri, and top aide to MBS Bader al-Asaker.
The summons also names two American residents: Layla Abuljadayel, who lives in Massachusetts, and Yousef al-Rajhi, who lives in Virginia.
"If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint," the summons said.
The complaint also says the recent disappearance of Jabri's two children are attempts by Tiger Squad operatives to lure the ex-intel officer to locations "where he could be killed".
In March, Jabri's two adult children, Sarah and Omar - who had been barred from leaving the kingdom - were arrested at their Riyadh home. In May, Jabri's brother was also arrested. None have contacted their relatives, according to Jabri's son, Khalid, who is based in Canada.
"It's a campaign that is seeking the murder of my father and is actively taking my sibling Sarah and Omar as hostages," Khalid al-Jabri, the intelligence official's son, told CNN in an interview.
The lawsuit places Washington in a difficult situation with Jabri, an asset with the country's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Saudi Arabia having warm relations and weapons deals with the US.
Following the filing, the US State Department praised Jabri in a rare rebuke to Saudi Arabia.
"Saad al-Jabri was a valued partner to the United States on countering terrorism. Saad's work with the United States helped save American and Saudi lives," a State Department spokesman told MEE last week.