Daughter of Former Saudi Official Claims MBS' Agents Tried to Lure Her Into Istanbul Consulate
© AP Photo / Emrah GurelTurkish police barriers block the road leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018
© AP Photo / Emrah Gurel
A number of her siblings were prosecuted in Saudi Arabia for money laundering, while her father is wanted on embezzlement charges. The former official himself claims he and his family are being targeted for political reasons.
Hissah al-Muzaini, the daughter of the former number two Saudi intelligence official, has claimed in an interview with CNN that Riyadh tried to "lure" her into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. She added that the alleged act was just the latest in a series of actions against her father, Saad Aljabri, and his family.
"They tried to encourage me to go there. I'm lucky I didn't go or else my kids wouldn't have a mum and dad".
al-Muzaini went on to repeat numerous accusations that her father had made against the Saudi authorities and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), including prosecuting members of her family on made-up charges and trying to kill Saad Aljabri.
Aljabri's two sons, Sarah and Omar, were arrested and convicted in Saudi Arabia on money laundering charges. The former intelligence official claims this was an attempt by Riyadh to lure him out. In addition, al-Muzaini claims that Saudi agents kidnapped her husband.
"We've been living a real-life nightmare for the past four years. Imagine yourself, your dad has been targeted with hit squads, your siblings (have been) imprisoned and accused of things they've never done [...] your husband being imprisoned, kidnapped and then tortured".
Al-Muzaini called on US President Joe Biden to intervene in the situation and "help us save and reunite our family".
Washington has not yet responded to al-Muzaini's request, nor has Riyadh reacted to her claims.
However, Saudi authorities have strongly rejected Saad Aljabri's allegations, suggesting that he made them in order to shift the limelight away from his own crimes. At home, several Saudi state companies filed lawsuits against the former official, accusing him of embezzling billions of dollars. Aljabri's assets in Canada, where he lives, have since been frozen, with a local court citing evidence of fraud in his case.
By claiming Saudi agents attempted to lure her into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, al-Muzaini was apparently referring to the threat of being killed, as happened to one of the kingdom’s critics, journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the very same building. He arrived at the consulate to get papers for his planned marriage on 2 October 2018, but was detained, killed, dismembered, and smuggled out of the building.
The killing was carried out by a group of Saudi agents. However, while human rights defenders claim that it was a hit ordered by the Crown Prince, Riyadh and MBS strongly deny these claims. Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated in the aftermath that he bore responsibility as a ruler for the actions of the "rogue agents", but maintained that Khashoggi's assassination had never been sanctioned.