Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince sends a strong message to the Royal Al Saud Family
*DUBAI – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince meant to send a strong message to critics within the royal family by detaining senior princes this weekend: Don’t you dare oppose my succession to the throne.*
The main target in the crackdown, sources said, is King Salman’s brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, one of only three members of the Allegiance Council, the royal body that endorses the line of succession, to oppose Mohammed bin Salman becoming crown prince in 2017 in a palace coup.
Four sources with royal connections said the move aimed to ensure compliance within the ruling Al Saud family, in which there have been rumblings of discontent, ahead of an eventual succession upon the king’s death or abdication.
One of the sources described the detentions as a preemptive effort to ensure Prince Mohammed’s “ascent will be rubber stamped by the Allegiance Council when the time comes”.
Ahmed, 78, was detained on Friday along with Mohammed bin Nayef, who was crown prince until he was ousted in 2017 and replaced by Mohammed bin Salman. Ahmed’s son Nayef and Mohammed’s brother Nawaf were also detained, said two other sources with royal connections.
The princes have been held at royal villas in the capital Riyadh and some were allowed to contact their families, those sources said.