Sabtu, Juni 22, 2024

Who are the Victims of Muhammad bin Salman? When King Salman came to the throne to become King of Saudi Arabia in 2015 and appointed his 29-year-old son, Muhammad, as defense minister and later as deputy crown prince, there was talk of a rising star that would reshape the kingdom.

Five years later, Muhammad bin Salman, who now seemed ready to become king, had consolidated his control and shaken the foundations of the Saudi Palace by violently suppressing or neutralizing those considered his enemies and critics, including senior members of the royal family.

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The following is an overview of some of the prominent princes, officials, dissidents and business people who have been arrested and detained, exiled and, in some cases, allegedly killed in the attempt of Muhammad bin Salman to consolidate the power in his hands.

Was arrested Last week, at least 20 princes and officials were arrested as part of a new purge carried out by the crown prince. They include: Prince Muhammad Bin Saad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, aged 75 or 76, the son of the late brother Salman and members of Bayaa, or the Loyalty Council, which determined the succession of the Saudi throne. Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, 60, former crown prince and interior minister and nephew of King Salman.

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Nayef is reported to have been under house arrest since 2017 after he was stripped of his post and minister, and removed from the succession line. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, 77, younger brother of King Salman and son of Abdulaziz, founder and first ruler of Saudi Arabia. The prince had returned to the kingdom from London in late 2018 with the aim of blocking his nephew’s rise to the throne by using Bayaa and obtaining assurances from MI6 and the CIA that he would not be arrested. Nayef bin Ahmed, son of Prince Ahmed Mansour al-Shalhoub, director of Prince Ahmed’s private office.

Interrogated, Then Released

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Saud bin Nayef, 63 or 64, Muhammad bin Nayef’s older brother, governor of the Eastern Province and a member of Bayaa, was brought in for questioning in March 2020 but was released. Saud bin Nayef is also the father of the current royal interior minister.

Previously Arrested

The biggest cleanup to date under the crown prince was the gathering of November 2017 nobles, officials and business tycoons who were detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, said to be part of an anti-corruption effort. Those gathered:

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, 67, son of the late King Abdullah and former head of the National Guard. He was released later that month after reportedly paying more than $ 1 billion in a corruption settlement. It is not clear whether he has the freedom to move or travel.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, 65, was one of the richest people in the world and later became chairman of the Royal Holding Company. He was released in January 2018 after reportedly reaching a financial settlement with the royal attorney general.

Together with the aristocracy, dozens of former officials and business people were arrested and then released. They include: Khaled al-Tuwaijri, former head of the Saudi royal court; Amr al-Dabbagh, chief executive of the al-Dabbagh Group and former head of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; Muhammad Hussein al-Amoudi, a dual Saudi-Ethiopian citizen and one of Ethiopia’s most important investors; Dr. Walid Fitaihi, a popular TV reformer and presenter; and Hani Khoja, a former McKinsey consultant.


Saad al-Jabri, a former intelligence official and chief adviser to Muhammad bin Nayef when he led the interior ministry. Jabri was dismissed by royal decree in 2015 after a power struggle in service between bin Nayef and bin Salman. He fled the kingdom in 2017, shortly before his boss was overthrown and put under house arrest. He was given protection in Canada.

Was Killed

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist and former media adviser to Prince Turki bin Faisal while serving as royal ambassador in the US in the 2000s. He was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by 15 members of the Tiger Army, a group of intelligence and military operations established under the SBM, in October 2018.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, deputy governor of Asir province and son of the former crown prince, was allegedly killed by Tiger Troops in a helicopter crash near the Saudi border with Yemen in November 2017. Sources told the MEE that he was trying to escape from the kingdom when he was killed.

Sheikh Suliman Abdul Rahman al-Thuniyan, president and judge of the Mecca general court, was allegedly killed in a hospital in Riyadh in October 2018 by Tiger Troops by injection. The judge sent a letter to MBS that opposed his economic vision in 2030.


In September 2017, religious scholars Sheikh Salman al-Odah, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari, all related to the Sahwa movement inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, were arrested in a raid that eventually placed 60 people behind bars.

During 2018, more than a dozen women’s rights activists including Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef, were arrested and detained. Some have been given temporary release while others remain imprisoned. (Fahad Hasan & MEE)


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