What’s Behind the Saudi Royal Family Arrests

What's Behind the Saudi Royal Family Arrests

(ReliableNews.org) – The recent Saudi Arabia royal family drama seems like a power play straight out of “Game of Thrones.” While the exact details and motivations of what exactly happened aren’t totally clear, there’s enough information to put together a story that gives us meaningful insight into just what happened in the Middle Eastern powerhouse.

Multiple royals and top officials were arrested earlier this month in what may have been an attempted coup.

What Happened?

From the exterior, this seems to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) latest attempt to further his power consolidation over Saudi Arabia. MBS detained Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, King Salman’s youngest brother, and Mohammed bin Nayef, former crown prince and interior minister. Aziz and Nayef are two of the most influential members of the royal family.

There aren’t enough details to determine whether or not the two were behind a plot against MBS. That possibility isn’t far-fetched, though. MBS has been slowly gaining more power over the country ever since his appointment as crown prince in 2017.

Aziz and Nayef would be among the first to feel threatened by MBS’ growing presence and influence, especially given that he replaced Nayef. While an outright military coup was unlikely to happen, this may have been an attempted inside job to de-throne MBS. Neither Aziz or Nayef are in support of MBS becoming the future king after King Salman passes away.

Why Now?

There are a number of potential factors that contribute to the timing of this situation.

First, King Salman is 84, and possibly in poor health. He recently went to the hospital, which may have spurred things into motion. In order for MBS to automatically ascend to the throne after the king’s death, he needs Aziz’s pledge while the king is alive.

If Aziz and Nayef were ever to retake power, now would be a good time for them to act. According to a former adviser for the late King Abdullah, who died in 2015, Aziz’s refusal to align with MBS was a significant reason for the detainments.

There’s also the COVID-19 outbreak that could impact King Salman’s well-being. A sickly king would quickly and drastically change the political landscape. The sheer global disruption caused by the virus could have been a trigger for this mysterious event as well.

Another factor is that some in the royal family are unsure if President Trump will be re-elected. Trump’s good standing with Saudi Arabia is a factor that some in the ruling class, like MBS, are counting on. Relations between the countries could change if someone else wins in November.

MBS doesn’t believe that he’ll have another chance to take the throne if Trump leaves the White House.

We may yet discover more details about what truly happened earlier this month as time goes on. While some crucial details are missing, one thing is for certain. The Saudi Arabian royal family is going through a drastic shakedown.

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