Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has reportedly arrested another prince over the weekend, as part of a week-long purge of elements within the royal family who are hostile to his accession to the throne.
The arrest of Prince Mohammed Bin Saad Al Saud – the son of King Salman’s brother Saad Bin Abdulaziz – was discovered by reliable sources who informed the London-based news organisation Middle East Eye.
His arrest comes after at least 20 other senior Saudi princes were detained since Friday, including Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz – the younger brother of King Salman – and his son Nayef Bin Ahmed, as well as Mohammed Bin Nayef, the former crown prince.
The sweeping arrests are part of a purge being carried out within the royal family, with many speculating that the crown prince is conducting them for the purpose of finally gaining access to the throne which his ailing father King Salman currently sits on.
It has long been reported that the king suffers from dementia, evident from his apparent lack of improvised communication with statesmen and international diplomats, as well as from his tendency to read solely from scripts when giving speeches.
It has also been reported by the same news site that MBS, as the crown prince is known, is planning to attain the position before the G20 Summit which Riyadh is hosting in November.
If such a plan is truly in place and if MBS seeks to oust his father by that date, he would first need to gain the support and approval of the Baya – or Allegiance – Council, which would be achieved by declaring King Salman no longer fit to rule.
It is thought that this is the primary reason for the recent arrests, as he seeks to remove any opposition which could obstruct his accession to the throne.
Prince Saad is a member of the Baya Council.