'Is the Saudi King Dead?' Senior Saudi Princes Detained Amidst Reports of 'a Royal Attempted Coup'

Published March 8th, 2020 - 07:16 GMT
'Is the Saudi King Dead?' Senior Saudi Princes Detained Amidst Reports of 'a Royal Attempted Coup'
Speculations were supported by a brief tweet by Hamad Al Mazrouei, an Emirati close friend of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince saying "Checkmate".(Twitter)

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'. 

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.'

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.

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.

Transaltion: "Checkmate..."

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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