Being inactive on Twitter for a few days, the head of the Saudi crown prince's private office quickly became the center of online conversations as many people expressed their fear that he was either arrested or forcibly disappeared probably "for knowing too much."
اختفاء بدر العساكر مدير المكتب الخاص لبن سلمان يثير العديد من التساؤلات في منصات التواصل الاجتماعي— خالد حسين الاهدل (@alahdal1978) June 10, 2020
Translation: "The disappearance of Bader Al Asaker, head of MBS's private office is triggering many questions across social media platforms."
Despite the lack of evidence that Bader Al Asaker is missing, social media users continued to speculate his absence from social media based on online rumors.
A prominent political dissident living in Canada tweeted requesting information in regard to the Saudi aide.
أين الاستاذ بدر العساكر ؟— عمر بن عبدالعزيز Omar Abdulaziz (@oamaz7) June 8, 2020
Translation: "Where is Mr. Bader Al Asaker?"
Additionally, Middle East Eye reported that Al Asaker "is believed to be missing."
Bader al_Asaker the secretary general of King Salman has disappeared (arrested). He knows Bin Salman's dark secrets. pic.twitter.com/I6ThQ7c4Yy— Middle East In The Field (@EastFild) July 12, 2020
كورونا— ouchaoua (@ouchaouau) June 10, 2020
Translation: "it's the coronavirus."
While some users assumed "that he might have forcibly disappeared" because of knowing all of Crown Prince's secrets, some downplayed dangerous scenarios saying that he might have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and that his recovery is the reason he's stopped tweeting. Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest infection rates with more than 200k cases so far, yet the country has maintained a notably low death rate with 0.96%.
Challenging rumors, Al Asaker posted a series of Tweets in which he stressed his loyalty to Saudi Arabia and indirectly condemned the "delusional and scared."
نحن "الحدّ"— بدر العساكر Bader Al Asaker (@Badermasaker) July 13, 2020
أمام الواهمين والمرجفين
نحن القرار.. والاستقرار 🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/PZeLJDMGoN
Translation: "We are the limit in the face of the delusional and scared. We are the decision and stability."
الجزيرة لها كم يوم تجهز تقرير بسبب اختفاء بدر العساكر عن التغريد < شكلهم يحسبو دوامه بتويتر مو بالديوان 😂؟— شمّا بنت فهد ☂️ (@shmaTrusted) June 10, 2020
نشرو تقريرهم امس الساعة 12:15 بس بس جحفلهم بدر العساكر قبلها وغرد قبلهم ب15 دقيقة 😂 pic.twitter.com/LDKD72aPi4
Translation: Aljazeera has for days been pushing reports on Bader Al Asaker's disappearance off Twitter. Do they think his tenure is on Twitter and not the Royal office? They've reported it yesterday at 12:15 but he disappointed them tweeting 15 minutes earlier."
Rumors over Al Asaker's fate were mostly influenced by news of MBS's decision to persecute the former Crown Prince and Minister of Interior Muhammad bin Nayef based on corruption charges, which was perceived by several analysts as an attempt to further silence critics.
Over the last few months, reports have been surfacing regarding Muhammad bin Nayef's former confidant Saad Al-Jabri, who lives in self-exile in Canada and reportedly "has very sensitive documents related to MBS."
Family of Al-Jabri reported that police has arrested two of his kids and his brother in an attempt to pressure him to come back to the country.
© 2000 - 2020 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)