Several sources and various media outlets have confirmed that the authorities have made a campaign of arrests during the past two days that included senior princes in the royal family, and the sources stated that the Saudi royal court witnessed an abnormal movement late on Wednesday followed by the arrest of a number of senior princes, and the sources did not reveal the names of the detainees . The American Wall Street Journal revealed that the authorities arrested the two princes, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, brother of the Saudi king and Muhammad bin Nayef, the former crown prince, and that the authorities accused them of treason.
Senior figures from Otaiba, close to Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, today talk about the possibility of his arrest, and they have kept their details until the matter is confirmed, Prince Ahmed, a lover and close relative of Otaiba.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has detained one of the most senior members of the royal family, a former crown prince and a royal cousin for unexplained reasons, a relative and a person close to the royal family said Friday, New York Times said.
The senior royal, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, is a younger brother of King Salman and an uncle of the crown prince. He was for a time the great hope of family members and other critics who hoped he might try to block Prince Mohammed’s ascension to the throne, but he had shown no signs of seeking to do that.
The former crown prince who was arrested, Mohammed bin Nayef, is also the former interior minister and a longtime favorite of Washington.
He had already effectively been under house arrest since he was removed from those roles by the current crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in 2017. It was unclear why he was detained. His younger brother, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef, was also detained. And An official of the Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment.
The detentions come at a touchy moment for the kingdom and the royal family. The apparently unilateral decision of Crown Prince Mohammed to halt visits to Mecca in response to the coronavirus — a move with few if any precedents in Islamic history — has stirred grumbling. His plans to modernize the Saudi economy have shown little progress so far. And concerns about the impact of the coronavirus have slashed the price of oil, the source of the kingdom’s revenue.
Guards from the Royal Court also arrested a brother of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, The Wall Street Journal said
Dr. Saad al-Faqih, head of the Islamic Movement for Reform, stated that there are two scenarios for the reasons for the arrest of the senior princes in the Saudi royal family, and he confirmed that they had met with King Salman and had uttered words related to the closure of the Grand Mosque for the first time in history because of the Corona virus, while the Kingdom was still holding parties, which was made by Muhammad bin Salman arrested them.
Al-Faqih added that the second reason is Muhammad bin Salman’s attempt to capture the princes due to his concerns about the position of the princes in the Saudi royal family and they are distinguished by good relations with the West and the White House.
This may cause the rest of the princes to complain against the expectations of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who aimed at these arrests to intimidate the Saudi royal family, pointing to the relationship of this to the princes’ objections to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoghi, Omar Al-Ayasrah, a Jordanian political analyst, said.
Al-Ayasrah indicated that the White House may condone the arrest of the three princes, but the crown prince may face criticism that causes him to be released soon. While many political analysts ruled out the existence of a coup, while Ayasrah stressed that if the three princes were accused of treason, he confirmed the hypothesis of a coup inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It is noteworthy that the Saudi authorities had previously detained dozens of princes, senior officials, current and former ministers, officials and businessmen at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh on the orders of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in November 2017. Among the detainees was the dismissed Minister of National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdul God is the son of the late King Abdullah, his brother the former Prince of Riyadh Turki bin Abdullah, the billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Muhammad, the former deputy commander of the Air Force.
It is worth noting that the Saudi authorities arrested 11 princes, four current ministers and dozens of former ministers in November 2017, on the pretext of fighting corruption. The campaign took place hours after the formation of the Saudi monarch, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, a committee to fight corruption, and he chaired his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Royal orders were also issued to relieve the Minister of the National Guard and the Minister of Economy and Planning from their posts and refer the commander of the Navy to retirement.