The United States Department of State said in a letter it has repeatedly requested that Saudi Arabia “clarify the status and nature” of the detention of two children of a former top Saudi intelligence officer exiled in Canada who has alleged that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) wants to assassinate him.
The State Department letter came in response to one sent by four US senators last month, calling on President Donald Trump to help free the detained children of Saad al-Jabri, who has worked closely with the US.
“For years, Dr. Aljabri was the US Embassy in Riyadh’s counterpart on shared counterterrorism efforts and responded around the clock to threats against our Mission and personnel,” stated the letter by Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs Ryan M Kaldahl.
It says the US appreciates Al-Jabri’s “contributions to keeping our citizens safe” and “absent sufficient and compelling justification” will continue to advocate for the wellbeing of Al-Jabri’s children.
Saad al-Jabri and his daughter Sarah al-Jabri, who has been detained in Saudi Arabia since March [File: Khalid Al Jabri/via Reuters]
The joint letter – sent last month by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy, Tim Kaine and Chris Van Hollen – said the Saudi royal family was holding the children of Saad al-Jabri, Sarah and Omar, as leverage to force his return to the kingdom.
The two adult children, and a brother of Saad al-Jabri, who is said to hold key state secrets, were detained in Riyadh in March.
Al-Jabri had earlier attempted to get his children to leave Saudi Arabia, but authorities had placed them under a travel ban, according to reports.
The former spy filed a lawsuit [PDF] in US federal court on Thursday that accused MBS of dispatching people to hunt him down in the US and sending a hit squad to kill him in Canada. The latter plot was foiled because the hit team, referred to as “the Tiger Squad” was denied entry to Canada, court documents said.
The suit claims that MBS has been trying to kill al-Jabri for the past three years, that “Defendant bin Salman continues in his attempted extrajudicial killing to this day”, and that MBS has obtained “a ruling by religious authorities endorsing the killing of Dr. Saad [Al-Jabri]”.
The Saudi royal family is holding Sarah and Omar Aljabri as hostages. Hostage taking is never justified. For a government to use such tactics is abhorrent. They should be released immediately. https://t.co/wqr22IEX1S pic.twitter.com/VdCpp0NZxV
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) July 9, 2020
It further alleges that al-Jabri’s “close ties to the US Intelligence Community stand in the way of Defendant bin Salman’s consolidation of influence and power among US government officials”, and seeks a jury trial in the US.
Kaldahl’s letter said it was concerned about any “alleged activities” that led al-Jabri to go to exile in Canada and said accusations of wrongdoing by him should be addressed through legal channels.
Saudi Arabia, which has issued Interpol red notices seeking al-Jabri’s return that have since been dismissed as political, has urged other countries to send al-Jabri back to the kingdom, accusing the former senior intelligence officer of corruption.
Al-Jabri had access to the highest levels of information in decades as an intelligence officer working closely with US counterparts.
The four US senators who have sought to help him wrote last month: “As a top intelligence officer in Saudi Arabia, Dr Al-Jabri has been credited by former CIA officials for saving thousands of American lives by discovering and preventing terrorist plots.”
They said the US has a “moral obligation to do what it can to assist in securing his children’s freedom”.
The State Department reply said the US-Saudi partnership “permits us to engage in frank discussions in areas where we disagree” and that in coordination with the White House and other US government agencies it would “continue to engage Saudi counterparts to resolve this situation in a manner that honors Dr. Aljabri’s service to our country”.
COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com
Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…
Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupationQatar’s leader says Israel continues to carry out ‘flagrant violation of international resolutions’.Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’Lebanon’s official news agency said explosion took place in southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of Beirut.
Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.
“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.
Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
Politics7 years ago
In Spanish-Language Interview, Marco Rubio Says He Believes Obama’s Executive Amnesty ‘Is Important’
Politics7 years ago
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Bans Cruises for Welfare Recipients in Sweeping Crackdown
Politics7 years ago
New Bill Seeks To Ban Former Lawmakers From Becoming Lobbyists
Politics7 years ago
Marco Rubio says ‘same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right’
Politics7 years ago
Obama signals support for medical marijuana bill backed by Rand Paul
Duterte2 years ago
Duterte presidency unravels as coronavirus ravages Philippines |NationalTribune.com
China's2 years ago
US says China’s South China Sea missile launches threat to peace |NationalTribune.com
Belarus2 years ago
Belarus heads to polls as protests rattle Lukashenko |NationalTribune.com