By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr
In an unprecedented precedent that the Al Saud family did not know, the most prominent princes in the country were imprisoned, headed by the most prominent neighborhoods of the founder Abdul Aziz, Prince Ahmed, the brother of King Salman, on charges of “treason” by seeking the coup. The accusation included three of the princes of the Naif family, the most famous of whom was the toppled crown prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, and he returned to the interface the file of the struggle of the wings and its mysteries.
And while the Saudi media did not deny or question the narratives of the American media, the campaign’s reasons strengthened that the accusation was an excuse by Al Salman to tame the “pledge of allegiance” and suppress any restlessness or possible ambition on the wings of the family.
To know the magnitude of the feared strike, Al Saud’s palaces, it is sufficient to follow a torrent of tweets in the last hours, confirming loyalty and renewing allegiance to the king and his crown prince, published by the accounts of princes who until recently were inmates of the “Ritz-Carlton”, where they arrested, insulted, and deprived their financial and media empires. Those tweeters, such as “Prince of Cola” for example (Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, or Prince Azzuz, the richest man on the planet, possesses unique characteristics that may not be known to each other from their abundance, stripped of the treasures of treasures, the most important of which is the MBC group). Their heads these days, and they are right, they are nothing but remnants of the “semi-survivors” of the ongoing Salman campaign against the princes of the royal family.
Since 2015, with media fanfare or otherwise, Asmaa has disappeared, others have been kidnapped, and doubts have been raised about some people’s lives or being placed under house arrest. However, the new chapter of abuse for the cousins appeared different in some of its circumstances from the most famous in 2017: “The Ritz-Carlton”, where the campaign extended to include the then Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.
There is no “hospitality” this time around, just like the princes had many hotel guests, and talk of corruption and money. The novel was presented as the fact that the incident is a crackdown on the “traitors” group of princes, and that means thwarting a coup d’etat that was under preparation behind the walls of the palaces, orchestrated by the alliance of the two princes: Muhammad bin Nayef, his uncle Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, and other people involved between princes and officers.
The American media account, published by an organized leak, distributed in more than one known medium, and it is still standing without official denial or even questioning the circles of the system. Rather, the leakers continued to publish details of news of the arrest campaign, with news of new arrests.
Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz
It is known about Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz (77 years), the seventh of the “Seven Sudairians”, balance, calmness and weakness of personality. The last of King Salman’s siblings alive is also known for his love and trust in a large spectrum of princes, especially those narrowly fed between them and restless from the escalation of Muhammad bin Salman. The most important thing that revolves around him is to repeat his name every time the Western media touches on the door of the crisis of Ibn Salman and his replacement scenarios. The climax of the case was during the scandal of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Prince Ahmed’s return to the country today from the United Kingdom undoubtedly aroused Ibn Salman, who is under diplomatic and media pressure, especially when the return was coupled with hints that he could be replaced by him in the province of the Covenant, with Western blessing. Demonstrating the family’s unity and interdependence in the face of the new attack was the price of the man’s return in the difficult period, and motivated the Salman family’s hedging and bending over with the storm.
What will make matters worse is speculation about Prince Ahmed’s ability to play a future role within the Allegiance Commission, which is said to be the third of three (out of 34) who did not vote on Ibn Salman’s choice of the mandate of the covenant, and he is best known for a video clip calling on protesters over the Yemen war to blame The King and Crown Prince instead of the House of Saud. This body, which is composed of the sons of the founding king Abdulaziz and other princes, and whose work is surrounded by ambiguity (no one knows who chaired it at the last meeting or who is chairing it now), is assigned to it according to the system of governance the most important matters: checking the king’s eligibility healthily, and voting to choose the crown prince of the king . According to the latest amendment of the regime, Ibn Salman will not be able to obtain a crown prince from among his children and siblings, but rather the grandson of the founder Abdel Aziz from another branch, i.e. from the cousins.
Muhammad bin Nayef
Prince Al-Sudairi, who was expelled from the mandate of the Province of Al-Ahd, is distinguished by the loyalty of officers in the Ministry of Interior and strong ties to the western security services, which he recognized and built up during the cooperation in the war against Al-Qaeda during the years of the decade following the September 11 attacks. It is said that, after excluding him from the mandate of the Covenant and then the return of Prince Ahmed to the country, he began to approach the latter with what raised suspicion at Al Yamamah Palace, especially since the prince and his uncle shared the attribute of western satisfaction with them, at a time when distrust of the Americans leaked to Ibn Salman, after the repercussions The Khashoggi case. However, this information contradicts the scarcity of Ibn Nayef’s media appearance, which explains that the man is restricted in movement, that is, under house arrest or under strict supervision.
Whatever it is, the inclusion of the son of Nayef’s campaign of arrests is also explained by its coverage, according to the leaks, his half-brother Prince Nawwaf. This means that the truce with the Sudairi branch, which began with the appointment of Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, as Minister of the Interior, has ended. Accordingly, Abd al-Aziz has since this day been on the list of candidates for dismissal in the coming days, as well as the exclusion of the Naif family in general more and more, especially as sources in the royal court reported that the Wall Street Journal stated that the father of the minister, the prince of the eastern region and the eldest son of Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Saud bin Nayef, later summoned. Also, according to the sources, officers in the Ministry of Interior and Defense were arrested.
King Salman is dying?
To explain what the leaks revealed, analysts rushed to speculate the king’s health would deteriorate, or to conceal his death in the final hours. The explanation stems from the fact that the death of King Salman will impose two benefits on his successor: First, the pledge of allegiance to him smoothly. The second is to impose the name of a crown prince on his “pledge of allegiance” that chooses the crown prince, and Prince Ahmed has influence within it. It is more likely that his brother Khaled would be satisfied with this, which is prevented by the regime according to the new amendment. Consequently, what is required is oppression by the one who poses the slightest threat to the era of the grandchildren’s rule, and the terror of those who remain silent until the regime is modified again and the throne is practically confined to the Salman family, thereby limiting the ambition of the rest of the branches.
Yesterday, King Salman appeared accepting the accreditation of the Ukrainian and Uruguayan ambassadors (AFP)
However, the king’s health scenario quickly fades if we notice that last Thursday Salman, just hours before the leak, received British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rapp in Riyadh. Even his appearance yesterday, as he accepts the accreditation of the Ukrainian and Uruguayan ambassadors. A Reuters source confirmed that King Salman “is in good mental and psychological condition” and he agreed to carry out the arrests.
Was it a coup then?
The five sources who confirmed to Reuters news leaks, “The Wall Street Journal” and “New York Times” and later “Bloomberg” additions, contradicted the details of the novel. While the two American newspapers reported that the two princes were arrested from their home by masked members of the Royal Court’s guard, Reuters quoted sources as saying that the two princes Nawaf and Muhammad bin Nayef were arrested in their camp in the desert, while Prince Ahmed was arrested from his home. The most important thing in “Reuters” is a source’s statement that the reason for the arrests is that Bin Salman “accused them of making contact with foreign powers, including the Americans and others, to carry out a coup.” A source added that the princes “were discussing the implementation of a coup with the support of influential tribes, but these discussions did not reach an advanced stage.”
The Khashoggi crisis recedes, to which the addition of Prince Ahmed to a coup, as well as those familiar with his compromising personality, suggests two indicators that suggest that the pretext of arrest is not correct, i.e. a coup plot, despite the hypothesis of Ibn Nayef’s ability to help Prince Ahmed by harnessing his remaining influence in the security establishment. The absence of a coup plot does not refute the information about the fabrication of this accusation, which is reinforced by the interpretation of it as an excuse, which was confirmed yesterday by two sources for the “Associated Press”, denying the intention of the coup to Prince Ahmed, but only from him was resentful of the decision to close the Great Mosque of Mecca within the measures to prevent the spread of “Corona ». Observers of the ruling family’s affairs point out that the reason behind the fabrication of the coup pretext is to strive to achieve two goals:
Closing the gap opened by the Khashoggi crisis and extracting the loyalty, support and extradition of princes. The Salman family had completed their control of the government and paved the way of Ibn Salman with the traditional “federal influence” of Fakfah with the “Ritz” arrests and the establishment of a new system that concentrated all forms of power in the hands of the Crown Prince. However, the repercussions of the killing of Khashoggi hit a murderer from the image of Ibn Salman, “Prince of openness, change and moderation.” It allowed the shaking of the new situation and the emergence of Prince Ahmed. Medialy, he did not return the doubt to the Crown Prince, in light of the calls to consider replacing him with external support. However, the latter’s steadfastness, and the position of US President Donald Trump, who remained steadfast in supporting bin Salman, ultimately contributed to the removal of pressure.
Preparation for the expected round: The Allegiance Commission. In spite of the growing internal strength that Ibn Salman has become, the prince and his father, the king, and his father, the king, have to remove any possible disturbance emanating from the princes’ ambition. The father and son prefer the former not to step down from the throne for the second, given the presence of Salman’s cover and support, but a scenario remains difficult to say for sure. And if the concession is possible (some expect that bin Salman wants it before the kingdom hosts the “Twentieth Summit”), and in order to secure a smooth transition path, it requires taming the “pledge commission” to pledge allegiance to the eighth king, the first king outside the bounds. It is a required taming in any case, in the event of a waiver during the life of the king or after his departure, to win a pardon from the Salmani House after modifying the system. And targeting a man like Prince Ahmed by recording the precedent of arresting one of Abdel Aziz’s sons and accusing him of treason, means that there is no tent over anyone’s head.