US lawsuit exposes Saudi crown prince's death squad | Anatolia Agency - Aug. 11, 2020 |
The prince and the spy, MBS vs al-Jabri
The Tiger Squad
It was just after the horrendous murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that this name reached the ears of the public: The Firqat el-Nemr, or The Tiger Squad; a Saudi hit team under the guidance and supervision of this man, Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince and de facto leader.
Al-Jabri's lawsuit reads, "The Tiger Squad Defendants attempted to enter Canada covertly, traveling on tourist visas and seeking to avert the detection of Canadian border security by entering through separate kiosks."
Observers say the attack on the exiled spy and his family is part of a bigger picture to muzzle the Crown Prince's critics at home and abroad.
Al-Jabri was long an aide to Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, the former head of Saudi intelligence who later became heir to the throne before being deposed and detained by bin Salman in 2017.
The Firqat el-Nemr, or The Tiger Squad: a Saudi hit team
Members of Saudi hit squad that killed Khashoggi were trained in US: report | France24 - July 2021 |
Four members of the Saudi hit squad that killed US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 had received paramilitary training in the United States that had been approved by the State Department, the New York Times reported late Tuesday.
Four of those operatives, the New York Times said, had received training from a private American security group, Tier 1 Group, a move first authorized by the administration of former president Barack Obama in 2014.
It cited a document provided to the Trump administration by a top official from the parent company of Tier 1 Group, the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, who had applied for a senior post at the Pentagon.
In his written testimony, Louis Bremer confirmed that Tier 1 Group did provide training to the Saudi agents, but insisted that the training was "protective in nature" and "unrelated to their subsequent heinous acts."
Bremer said that the four members of the kill team received the training in 2017, and that two of them had already participated in a previous course from October 2014 to January 2015.
The US State Department, contacted by AFP, said it could not comment on this information but called for the "responsible use ... of American military equipment and training".
The Private Equity Firm That Made a Killing From the Saudi Death Squad
Last month, Cerberus brought on board a new vice chairman, Brian Hook, who had joined the Trump administration in 2017 as the influential director of policy planning in the State Department. He was a survivor who rose through the department's ranks and did not flinch--let alone resign--when Trump failed to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the brazen murder of Khashoggi. A staunch Iran hawk, Hook often argued in favor of policies tantamount to regime change and advocated for the sanctions campaign known as "maximum pressure." He chastised Iran on human rights issues, but never seemed to speak out about authoritarian countries like the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bahrain, with which Hook negotiated accords with Israel.
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
Hedge fund named for the three-headed dog that guards the gates to hell.
Michael Steinhardt New York billionaire, leader in Jewish Philanthropy; founder of hedge fund Steinhardt Partners * major shareholder
Donald H Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense under George W Bush and Gerald Ford; neoconservative leader; corporate CEO * Investor
Stephen Feinberg Founder and CEO of hedge fund Cerberus Capital; Trump appointee to be Chair of the Intelligence Oversight Board * Owner
J Ezra Merkin Money manager & financier; Associate of Bernard Madoff * Owner
He's Trump's Point Man on Iran--and Under Investigation
Brian Hook is driving an aggressive Iran policy... while he and several other officials have to deal with a far-reaching probe into allegations of political reprisal.
This should be a good time to be Brian Hook. The State Department special representative for Iran is in a commanding position over the Trump administration's aggressive approach toward a longstanding U.S. adversary. Less than a year since President Trump abandoned the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, the State and Treasury departments have slapped sanctions on nearly 1,000 people and entities to tighten the screws on Tehran.
And while staffers typically have short shelf lives in the Trump administration, Hook has managed to become a lasting and growing presence. He's the rare member of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's inner circle to have thrived under successor Mike Pompeo. According to two sources with direct knowledge, Hook has also cultivated ties at the White House with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner--something that bedeviled Tillerson--and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt. Last month he traveled with Kushner to Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
But there's a cloud over Hook. Two sources told The Daily Beast that the State Department inspector general is in the final stages of a probe into reprisals against career department personnel for their perceived disloyalty to the president. Those sources said Hook is amongst at least eight administration officials the inspector general is examining.
Trump's top Iran envoy quits as US bids to extend Tehran embargo; Neocon Elliott Abrams to take over | The Guardian - Aug. 2020 |
From my diary ...
Salman Offered Candidate Trump Assassination Program on Iran
Earlier in the Biden administration ...
Treasury Sanctions the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force and Former Deputy Head of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency for Roles in the Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Ahmad Hassan Mohammed al Asiri, Saudi Arabia's former Deputy Head of General Intelligence Presidency, and Saudi Arabia's Rapid Intervention Force in connection with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. These persons are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
"Those involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi must be held accountable. With this action, Treasury is sanctioning Saudi Arabia's Rapid Intervention Force and a senior Saudi official who was directly involved in Jamal Khashoggi's murder," said Secretary Janet L. Yellen. "The United States stands united with journalists and political dissidents in opposing threats of violence and intimidation. We will continue to defend the freedom of expression, which is the bedrock of a free society."