- Alleged assassination attempt against former official will further undermine crown prince’s image but Western ties will remain largely unaffected
- Riyadh’s strategic importance for Western powers will ensure responses to further human rights abuses remain largely symbolic
- Lack of meaningful response and crown prince’s fear of threats from rivals will sustain aggressive approach towards government critics
Former Interior Minister Saad al-Jabri, who currently lives in exile in Canada, alleged in a US district court filing on 6 August that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) had ordered his “attempted extrajudicial killing” in Toronto in October 2018. That same day, the US State Department condemned the Saudi authorities’ ongoing detention of two of al-Jabri’s children, who were arrested in Riyadh in March after he refused to return to Saudi Arabia.
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