- Erica Pandey
- Nov 5
Saudi crown prince consolidates power after round of arrests
Saudi Arabia's King Salman (left) speaks to his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right). Photo: Hassan Ammar / AP
Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the arrests of dozens of influential people, including 11 of his royal cousins and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — the billionaire Saudi investor in Apple, Twitter and the Four Seasons.
- The big picture: His move, "presented as a crackdown on corruption," appears to be "the most sweeping transformation in the kingdom's governance for more than eight decades," NYT's David Kirkpatrick reports.
- But, but, but: "Crown Prince Mohammed's haste ... may now come at a price, because the lack of transparency or due process surrounding the anticorruption crackdown is sure to unnerve the same private investors he hopes to attract — including through a planned stock offering of the huge state oil company, Aramco."
Inside the shakeup, via the Times:
- "With the new detentions, Crown Prince Mohammed ... now appears to have established control over all three Saudi security services — the military, internal security services and national guard."
- "Apolitical scholars who used to speak freely in cafes now look nervously over their shoulders, as Crown Prince Mohammed has achieved a degree of dominance that no ruler has attained for generations."
- "It is the coup de grâce of the old system," Chas W. Freeman, a former United States ambassador, told the Times. "Gone. All power has now been concentrated in the hands of Mohammad bin Salman."