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HomeGeopolitical CompassArabian PeninsulaSaad al-Jabri: The Saudi who could bring down Mohammed bin Salman

Saad al-Jabri: The Saudi who could bring down Mohammed bin Salman

Author:  David Hearst

Affiliation: Middle East Eye

Organization/Publisher: Middle East Eye

Date/Place:  August 10, 2020/UK

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 1664


Keywords: Murder Squad, Power Struggle, Legitimacy



Saad al-Jabri, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef’s right-hand man, is more dangerous to Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) than Khashoggi ever was. Formally a part of the Diwan and the interior ministry, al-Jabri knows many secrets that could jeopardize MBS’ bid for power. The attempts to take al-Jabri out have ranged from luring him to sending a death squad, yet all failed. In his determination to speak, al-Jabri shows that MBS couldn’t secure legitimacy after ousting bin Nayef. Al-Jabri started a lobbying campaign and his good track record with the CIA gives him a chance to get back on MBS, especially since few have as much dirt on the crown prince than al-Jabri.  The potential end of Trump’s mandate means the return of CIA and State Department’s sway over foreign policy decisions; this, along with the public support al-Jabri has been receiving, could blow over MBS. The Saudi prince’s only hope would be a Trump win, otherwise he wouldn’t get the support he needs especially after Biden’s promise to punish the Saudi leadership for Khashoggi’s murder. Al-Jabri refuses to let MBS gain full power, and his attempts have disturbed the latter to the point of sending murder groups. It is apparent that the struggle after bin Nayef’s ousting is not over, and that Bin Salman is facing the biggest external threat to his bid for power.


By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant



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