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Saudi House Of Saud On Fire – Senior Prince Ahmed Returns Home To Challenge Crown Prince Mohammed



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Nov 01 2018
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Jamal Khashoggi’s body has yet to be found. There is a chance that it would never be discovered for obvious reason. Saudi Arabia has refused to reveal the location of the journalist’s body despite demands from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. To disclose the location of the body would unveil the brutality of Saudi Crown Prince in the assassination of Khashoggi.

 

The Saudi government is absolutely guilty. There is little doubt about it. They have presented various version of stories about Khashoggi’s fate. First they denied any knowledge of the journalist whereabouts. The crown prince even assured Bloomberg that the journalist left the consulate shortly after he arrived. Then the kingdom admitted Khashoggi was indeed dead – in a “fistfight”.

 

While the world was still laughing at the cock and bull story that the journalist was killed accidentally, despite a strong 15-member “hit team” – armed with bone saw – sent from Riyadh to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Saudi attorney general dropped a bombshell. They finally acknowledged that Khashoggi was indeed killed in a premeditated murder.

Jamal Khashoggi With His Fiancee - Hatice Cengiz

To pacify President Donald Trump, whom was himself made to go on a merry-go-round and flip-flopping between giving the thumbs up and down over conflicting stories, the Saudi government said they have arrested 18 suspects, 15 of which were members of an extermination squad sent to kill the prominent critic of the crown prince.

 

Turkey wants Saudi to hand over the 18 suspects so that they can be held accountable for what they did, not to mention to find out the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. The Saudi, however, refused to extradite the suspects. What is known so far is the body was handed over to a local “collaborator” after the killing. But the Saudi also refused to provide the identity of the supposed local collaborator.

 

The Turkish chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, has now confirmed that the body of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered after he was choked to death as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate. The Saudi chief prosecutor, Saud al-Mujeb, sent to Turkey to supposedly work together with the Turkish authorities but has offered nothing useful to the investigation.

There was a standoff – the Turkish authorities demand the Saudis to tell them where Khashoggi’s body is, but the Saudis insist that Turkey hand over the audio tapes of the execution of the journalist, details of which have routinely been leaked to the media. This proves Turkey is in possession the evidence of the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

 

But 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has something much bigger to worry. His uncle – Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz – has returned to Saudi Arabia. Unlike his siblings or cousins whom the crown prince has been bullying and intimidating, Prince Ahmed is the younger brother of King Salman. And the senior prince is back on a mission.

 

Like journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Prince Ahmed is a strong critic of the impulsive, immature and ruthless crown prince. According to Middle East Eye, Prince Ahmed has returned to bring down Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or at least find someone who can. If the crown prince thinks he can pull another assassination on his uncle, he better thinks twice.

Saudi Arabia Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz

Apparently, the senior prince returns to Riyadh with security guarantees given by the United States and United Kingdom government. The prince reportedly returned “after discussion with US and UK officials”, who assured him that they would not let him harmed, after the murder of Khashoggi that saw him butchered and cut into pieces.

 

In addition to the special protection extended by the US and UK, Prince Ahmed is also being protected by his own bodyguards. When the favourite son of King Salman launched his so-called anti-corruption crackdown last November, at least 500 princes, businessmen, ministers and billionaires were rounded up. More than 2,000 banking accounts were frozen.

 

However, the crown prince, known for his violent and reckless character, dared not touch any sons of King Abdulaziz, the first monarch and founder of the modern Saudi Arabia. As one of 45 sons of King Abdulaziz, Prince Ahmed (believed to be 31st son of King Abdulaziz) was considered too senior for the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed to target in the crackdown.

Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Returns To Saudi To Challenge Crown Prince

Still, Prince Ahmed had been afraid to return after he made public comments last month that appeared to criticize Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the de-facto ruler of the kingdom. Emboldened by security guarantees from the U.S. and UK, however, the prince is provided the golden opportunity to play a major role – hopefully – at replacing the crown prince.

 

Until Tuesday, Prince Ahmed had remained in London. Prior to his return to Riyadh, he has held several meetings with other members of the Saudi royal family who are currently living outside the kingdom. He has also seek consultation from other royal members inside the kingdom who share similar concerns that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become too “toxic” to become king.

 

At least three senior princes have expressed their support for Prince Ahmed to challenge the current crown prince. According to a source, upon his return to Saudi, he met with his two half-brothers – Prince Talal and Prince Muqrin – in the family home. There are already rumours that the “Allegiance Council” may reconvene to discuss the future of the crown prince.

Prince Ahmed – The Only Surviving Full Brother of King Salman

But why Prince Ahmed? He is King Salman’s only surviving full brother, which means Prince Ahmed and the king are the last of the so-called Sudairi 7 – the 7 sons of the modern kingdom’s founder, King Abdulaziz, by his favourite wife, Hussa binti Ahmed al-Sudairi. The senior prince is said to be not interested in being king but may decide to become crown prince as a stopgap – until someone more suitable is chosen.

 

Hence, 75-year-old Prince Ahmed would be the next best option should 82-year-old King Salman is forced to drop his favourite son. After all, the senior prince had had wide experience as Deputy Minister of Interior, holding the portfolio from 1975 to 2012, and then as Interior Minister for a brief period in 2012. He was the Deputy Governor of Makkah Province from 1971 to 1975.

 

Diplomats who have met with the king say old age may have diminished his mental capacity to restrain his young and ambitious son. Prince Ahmed’s return will definitely increase the pressure on Saudi’s crown prince, who is already at the centre of a standoff between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, not to mention Washington, London and European Union.

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

 

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