Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz’s reported return is seen as a potential challenge to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
11/1/18 – (ZeroHedge) The youngest brother of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has returned from self-imposed exile to “challenge” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) “or find someone who can,” reports the Middle East Eye.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is reportedly hoping to oust his 33-year-old nephew in the wake of an allegedly state-sanctioned murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. MbS has virtual control over Saudi Arabia after a June 2017 shakeup in which King Salman removed Muhammad bin Nayef as heir apparent.
The septuagenarian prince, an open critic of bin Salman (MBS), has travelled with security guarantees given by US and UK officials.
“He and others in the family have realised that MBS has become toxic,” a Saudi source close to Prince Ahmad told Middle East Eye.
“The prince wants to play a role to make these changes, which means either he himself will play a major role in any new arrangement or to help to choose an alternative to MBS.” –Middle East Eye
Prince Ahmed has reportedly been meeting with other members of the Saudi royal family living outside the kingdom, along with “figures inside the kingdom” who have encouraged him to usurp his nephew. According to MEE, “there are three senior princes who support Prince Ahmad’s move,” who remain unnamed to protect their security.
According to Saudi dissident Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al Saud, he expects a coup to be orchestrated against King Salman and MbS, as reported by the Middle East Monitor, which reports that a coup is “imminent.”
“The coming period will witness a coup against the king and the crown prince,” said Prince Khalid while commenting on the Khashoggi murder.
Khashoggi, a 59-year-old Washington Post journalist who had criticized the Crown Prince, was murdered on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his upcoming wedding. His body has not been found, but is believed to have been dismembered after he was reportedly choked to death.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, 76, has been living in the UK for several years after serving as Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of interior between 1975 – 2012, and briefly as minister of interior in 2012. Ahmed was seen as a potential candidate to succeed King Salman in the early 2000’s, however he was sidelined in March 2014 amid one of several shakeups within the House of Saud.
On November 4, 2017 bin Salman began arresting as many as 500 Saudi princes, government ministers and businessmen – detaining them in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. Private jets were grounded to prevent people from fleeing, while over 2,000 domestic bank accounts and other assets were frozen as the government targeted up to $800 billion in wealth that was reportedly “linked to corruption.” (cont.)
NOTE: bin Abdulaziz’s name is spelled differently among various news sources as Ahmad and Ahmed. The spelling used by AlJazeera is Ahmad, while ZeroHedge used Ahmed. -ShofarChic
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