A new wave of royal detentions in Saudi Arabia has been reported by US media late on Friday, with American journalists confirming the news of Saudi forces detaining at least three senior members of Al Saud, expecting them to face charges related to an 'attempted coup they were reportedly planning'.
#Saudi Arabia detains three senior members of royal family #الملك_سلمان#Saudi Opposition suspects that #KingSalman is dead & #MBS is arresting everyone who might stand in the way of him declaring himself the new #King https://t.co/biW5GrvfMO— Dirigo Post (@DirigoPost) March 8, 2020
Saudi officials arrest two members of the royal family for allegedly plotting to oust King Salman and the son he has designated to succeed him, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Wall Street Journal report. https://t.co/ZEG89ARlXh— The Associated Press (@AP) March 7, 2020
These recent detentions are said to be tied to political motives, as Former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Former Minister of Interior Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud are reportedly the main suspects in 'drafting a coup against the current Crown Prine Mohammad bin Salman'.
In November 2017, similar arrests sparked controversy when around 500 billionaire Saudi princes and businessmen were confined for months and were only released after the Saudi government was able to cease about $400 billion in what was promoted as a 'crackdown on corruption.'
- King Salman is dead or dying— Ibn Riad - ابن رياض (@IbnRiad) March 7, 2020
- Dozens have been arrested, not just the 3 high profile names in the news
- Workers in the royal palace have been informed the King is "unavailable" for health reasons
- MBS will announce in a statement that the Salman has abdicated in his favour https://t.co/K7yvJUG9y9
The Wall Street Journal reported that the two highly regarded Saudi royals were arrested from their homes on Friday and are now facing treason charges, which can end in death penalty as per Saudi laws.
According to The New York Times, the Saudi authorities have also arrested a number of other royals, including a former head of army intelligence, Prince Nayef bin Ahmed and possibly the current Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif Al Saud.
Breaking News: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to have detained 3 members of the Saudi royal family without explanation, including the king's brother https://t.co/YrDj1ROkJt— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 6, 2020
Shocked by the news, social media users linked the arrests of the two powerful princes to the possibility of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 84 years-old, passing away, which could be behind this rivalry over power between the Al Saud princes.
Online speculations over the Saudi King's wellbeing were supported by a brief tweet by Hamad Al Mazrouei, an Emirati close friend of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince saying "Checkmate". His tweet was posted about the same time news of the detentions in Saudi Arabia started spreading in the media.
كش ملك ...— حمد المزروعي (@uae_3G) March 6, 2020
For years now, the press has reported several unverified accounts of growing dissatisfaction among elderly royals of Al Saud, who are "not pleased with the changes made by the Saudi young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman" since he consolidated power in the Kingdom in 2017.
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