Four US senators signed a letter to urge President Donald Trump to help free the detained children of a former top Saudi intelligence official who is living in exile in Canada, Bloomberg reports.
According to the family of Saad Al-Jabri, his children Omar and Sarah, aged 22 and 20, were detained in Saudi Arabia in March.
In a letter addressed to the president on Tuesday, the senators expressed concern about the siblings’ case, calling their father, Saad, a highly valued partner of American intelligence agencies whose counter-terrorism work helped save thousands of American lives.
The letter, signed by Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine and Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen, was published on Leahy’s Twitter account yesterday.
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
“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,” the letter said.
Saad Al-Jabri held a cabinet-rank intelligence post under deposed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef and has been living in Toronto since a 2017 palace coup in Riyadh.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been pressing Canada to extradite him and increasing pressure on Saad’s relatives, detaining his adult children, to force him to return to the kingdom, his family said.