A Saudi 'Night of the Long Knives'? Prince Salman's crackdown

angelburst29

The Living Force
Saudi King's Bodyguard Shot Dead in Personal Dispute
Saudi King's Bodyguard Shot Dead in Personal Dispute - World news - Tasnim News Agency
Saudi King's Bodyguard Shot Dead in Personal Dispute
September, 29, 2019 - The personal bodyguard of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was shot dead in a personal dispute, a report said.

Major General Abdul Aziz al-Faghm was killed in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, where the government relocates for the summer months, state television al-Ekhbariya reported on Sunday. It did not say when the incident occurred or where exactly it took place.

Al-Faghm had also served as the personal bodyguard of late King Abdullah, according to local media.

Details remained vague. While officials posted condolences for al-Fagham, the first official word of his death came in a single tweet by Saudi state television.

State TV offered no other details. Hours later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the dispute saw a friend of al-Fagham shoot and kill him, as well as wound another Saudi and a Filipino worker there. A gunfight erupted as security forces responded to the home that saw the shooter killed and five members of the security forces wounded, the news agency reported.

The daily newspaper Okaz, while offering no details on the shooting that led to his death, described al-Fagham in a headline as, “The Keeper of Kings.”

Khashoggi murder 'happened under my watch,' Saudi crown prince tells PBS
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 18, 2019. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia's crown prince said he bears responsibility for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year by Saudi operatives "because it happened under my watch," according to a PBS documentary to be broadcast next week.

Fire strikes Saudi high-speed train station, at least five injured
A firefighting helicopter sprays water on a fire at the Haramain high-speed rail station in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Nofal

A fire broke out in the Haramain high-speed rail station in Saudi Arabia's coastal city of Jeddah, injuring at least five people, the authorities said on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia opens to foreign holidaymakers, chases tourism investment
Ahmed Al Khateeb, Chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage announces the launch of a new tourist visa regime at a dinner at historic Diriyah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin

Saudi Arabia threw open its doors to foreign tourists on Friday, launching a new visa regime for 49 countries and appealing to foreign companies to invest in a sector it hopes will contribute 10% of gross domestic product by 2030.

Saudi Arabia implements public decency code as it opens to tourists
FILE PHOTO: Saudi dancers perform during the launch of a new tourist visa regime at a dinner at historic Diriyah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin/File Photo

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it would issue fines for 19 offences related to public decency, such as immodest dress and public displays of affection, as the Muslim kingdom opens up to foreign tourists.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
This thread is a tentative place to add the following (Moderators please move if warranted) - as it could go in many places as the subjects discussed by Dr. Kevin Barrett and his guest, Barrie Zwicker (who wrote Towers of Deception - media focused book on 9/11) look to this following list of talking points:

Saudi Aramco Up in Flames
Saudi Arabia’s Mighty Air Defenses
Donald Trump’s Mighty Advisors
Crimes of Zion
Meanwhile in Canada…
More Inappropriate Behavior
War on Huawei
World at War
Zombie Apocalypse vs. “Real” UFO Videos

Saudi features prominently, so it's posted here.

The discussion is 1:07 min., dated September 19, 2019 and was originally seen on the Unz Review and linked over to here.

Zwicker's book I've read and had followed him over the years. He was at one time favorable to Noam Chomsky (Zwicker studied most of his work - and may have interviewed him) and then post 9/11 he wrote in the above book Towers of Deception:

"If Noam Chomsky did not exist, the diaboligarchy would have to invent him. To the New World Order, he is worth 50 armored divisions."
- Barrie Zwicker (Chapter Five)

He also cites this quote which has some relevancy in our 360 degree view that has a bearing on investigations:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." -Herbert Spencer

I missed many points in the interview for notes, and can only offer these following points (added the video interview below if interested) that initially were written down...

...Discussed:
- 4 million in north Korea killed in the war back in time by the US.
- Biological weapons (in North Korea used).
- Conspiracy theorist term 1960’s (Warren Commission) based on a secret memo ("a conspiracy itself" ) goes out to the media’s leading people to repeat in the echo chamber.
- Kevin discusses Zionism and being under attack.
- False Flags - that psychopathic leading elites use again and again.
- Saudi Aramco - displacing 5% of the oil stream (Iran the boogieman state) - Zwicker says you have to assume its a false flag until proven otherwise in general.
- Oil prices climb?
- Zwicker brings up Iran, while using a new term for the US being ‘Maximum Deception’ at all times :) rather than evil and other words.
- Canada is deeply implicated with the Saudi’s - brokered by the CCC (Tax payer crown corporation - probably 15 Billion he says (likely way more one can imagine) - puppy dog wagging its tail as the US does its dirty work. Justin (Canadian Prime Minister) refused to cut the deal after the hand-over from the last government four years ago.
- Anglo-Zionist empire discussed by (Barrett)
- Rhetoric reaching fever pitch.
- Zwicker - sick at heart at the state the world - lunatics running the asylum (world wide), with some exceptions - Putin is mentioned.

This next part surprised me a little because Zwicker, in his writing, understands media spin and words, how narratives are used and who is using them and why - thus his focus looks to words. So, in this part he discusses 'Intuitive raising consciousness' as he brings up climate change and welcomes the mass movement behind it. I won't say anything else except that Zwicker strong suite is certainly not science, and like a 'ton' of other people, he has been hooked with the AGW word narrative. That's too bad. My 2 cents to Barrie, go talk to your fellow Canadian, Dr. Tim Ball.

- Sense of humor (Putin) can be a saving grace in our times, and thank God for that.
- Pentagon has a separate division for naming things (Zwicker) - like the 'Peace Maker' nuclear missiles.
- They discuss Israel - Bibi out (9/11 chief) and Lieberman and others worse, and he then goes on to discuss (Zwicker) psychopaths in the same way Bob Hare does (listing characteristics); climbing to the top et cetera - a fault in their brain wiring, Zwicker says. He adds, 'Meet the new psychopath leader, same as the old psychopathic leader' (with some few exceptions).
- Russia with some sensibilities - putting Bibi in his place on Syria (which Bibi was humiliated - showed in the election) and Syria’s overall tragedy (“all cooked up”) brought on by the psychopaths in power (basically). Zwicker, again, 'it makes your heart sick'. Russia came late but has saved the day. They (PTB) cooked up many parts in Syria - White Helmets et cetera.
- Kevin and Zwicker both get into Israel and the mutual defense treaty back in time with the US (and what that meant - A NATO setup) and the position is also that Israel would have had to declare boundaries, which they would not do with their expansionist biblical boundaries floating around in their heads. Mutual treaties also make you vulnerable to such things as any false flag operations.
- Zwicker rants on Israel being a type of mirror of the Nazi’s with explanation (Zwicker says 'he who first mentions Nazi's loses - both played on this topic and Barrett reminds Zwicker he just lost).
- Jumps to Justin (PM) and his ‘Brownface’ when at a party at a progressive private school - discusses the reactions (happened a long time ago - nothing to see here.)
- This all comes out in the press before the election and is dismissed (Justin wins anyway with a minority and divided country east and west) while Andrew Sheer is brought up (Conservative opposition leader) - and Zwicker look to Sheer's hypocrisy. Zwicker slaps around the media on all this with some interlinked stories.
- Barrett brings up snowflakes - pronouns, and also anti-Semite definitions. New anti-Semitic term/law adopted in Canada.
- They get into Epstein a bit - Pedophilia associated with Psychopathy is discussed.
- Club of universal deception - Facebook et al. (the Pentagon Play Book or Play Ground).
- Attack on Huawei and their offering up of their source code - One of them says Huawei 100% owned by employees and not of the Chinese military (fact check not done). It’s all about American domination. Canadian Government arrests (old news with some background) the Huawei CEO (Iran is a factor in this - doing business with China and the arrest was an illegal operations: baseless).
- Ends with story on the old U2 plane shot down that scuttled the Paris Peace Talks - and whenever Peace is on the table there is a scuttling event.
- Barrett claimed it was Oswald who provided the Soviets with the U2 codes.
- Zwicker (climate shtick) gets mad about rising sea levels (points out Miami) and seems to be missing the plot. Brings up the Greenland glaciers (that one day, or was it two days of melt this summer that people went wild over and then it died down) and he talks of the evil deniers on climate change.

Boy, they were smart over there at the IPCC to have changed the words to what is a historical reality without mentioning the AGW part, although that is assumed by all the talking heads - so the words are co-opted now. Like I said, it's too bad Zwicker adopts this AGW view. Barrett seems to be on board with this view - or leans that way, although he was not explicit.

- Zwicker brings up 5G tech (he is not a scientist on this (as said before, not his strength) and says he will be open to future work on this subject.
- Last is the UFO cover-up stuff (Barrett brings up Dolan, and an interview with the Canadian Military's, Paul Hellyer. Zwicker is simply a disbeliever on this - his thinking is based on the time it takes to travel between vast distances, so it seems impossible to him. I’m guessing he has not entertained other possibilities, hyperdimensional possibilities even.

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three more to jail terms totaling 24 years over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October last year.

Saudi Arabia sentences five to death over Khashoggi murder, U.N. official decries 'mockery'
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced five people to death and three more to prison for the assassination last year of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Joe Davies report.
Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but a U.N. investigator accused it of making a "mockery" of justice by allowing the masterminds of last year's killing to go free.

Factbox: Who are Saudis under spotlight over Khashoggi's killing?
Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor and spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan delivers a speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 23, 2019. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

The Saudi public prosecutor did not name the sentenced individuals on Monday. But the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, in a report issued in June, had identified 11 individuals on trial and those facing death sentences, based on information from various governments’ sources.

Who are Saudis under spotlight over Jamal Khashoggi's killing?
Following are profiles of some of those who have been held, investigated or fired in Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case,
based on media reports and photos, plus information from officials and sources.

Khashoggi's son says justice has been achieved in his father's case: tweet
The son of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Monday his family had achieved justice thanks to the verdict of Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor.

Khashoggi's fiancee says execution of those convicted would conceal truth
The fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi described the sentencing of five people to death in relation to the killing as unfair and invalid, adding that their execution would further conceal the truth.

Saudi security forces kill two "terrorists" after Dammam city shooting: TV
Saudi security forces killed two "terrorists" on Wednesday after a shooting in a residential neighborhood in the eastern city of Dammam, state television al-Ekhbariya reported.

U.S. sees Saudi trial as 'important step': senior U.S. official
The United States considers Saudi Arabia's sentencing of five people to death and three more to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "an important step" in holding those responsible for the crime accountable, a senior official of the U.S. administration said on Monday.

Riyadh signs deal with Raytheon Saudi Arabia to localize Patriot maintenance FILE PHOTO: A visitor walks past the Raytheon stand at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Saudi Arabia signed a deal with the local unit of U.S. weapons maker Raytheon on Saturday to localize maintenance of its Patriot missile defense system, as part of efforts to boost Saudi's defense industries and its broader economy.
 
Last edited:

angelburst29

The Living Force
Saudi Arabia has detained three senior Saudi princes including Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king's nephew, for allegedly planning a coup, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Saudi Arabia in royal purge over 'coup plot'
Saudi Arabia in royal purge over 'coup plot'

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R), Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (C) and deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured in late 2016
<img alt="Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R), Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (C) and deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured in late 2016" class="StretchedBox W(100%) H(100%) ie-7_H(a)" src="https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/V.../8de745a8d8746342fece807e238c54549c7b911c.jpg" itemprop="url"/>
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R), Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (C) and deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured in late 2016 (AFP Photo/BANDAR AL-JALOUD)

March 07, 2020 - Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi authorities have detained three princes including King Salman's brother and nephew for allegedly plotting a coup, three sources told AFP Saturday, signaling the de facto ruler's tightening grip on power.

The detentions, which cast aside the last vestiges of potential opposition to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, come at a sensitive time as the petro-state grapples with plunging oil prices and limits access to Islam's holiest sites over fears of the new coronavirus.

Royal guards detained Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, a brother of King Salman, and the monarch's nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef on Friday after they were accused of plotting a palace coup aimed at unseating the crown prince -- heir to the Saudi throne -- an Arab official and a Western official told AFP.

Prince Nayef's younger brother, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef, was also detained, they added.

A number of military and interior ministry officials accused of supporting the coup plot had also been rounded up, the Western official said, citing Saudi government sources.

"With this purge, no rivals remain to stop the crown prince's succession to the throne," he said.

The detentions raised speculation about the health of the 84-year-old king and whether the crown prince's succession to the Arab world's most powerful throne was imminent.

But another source close to the Saudi leadership told AFP the "king is healthy and fine" and the detentions were meant to enforce "discipline" within the royal family.


Saudi Arabia detains senior royals for alleged coup plot, including king's brother: sources
Prince Ahmed and Mohammed bin Nayef were detained in the latest operation. Three of the sources, including a regional source, said Mohammed bin Nayef and his half-brother, Nawaf, were picked up at a private desert camp on Friday. Two sources said Ahmed was taken from his home.


Glowing orb that Trump touched in Saudi Arabia gifted to US and hidden in storage: Book
Glowing orb that Trump touched in Saudi Arabia gifted to US and hidden in storage: Book

March 04, 2020 - The United States was gifted the ominous, glowing orb that became part of a viral meme that came out of President Trump's first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia in early 2017.

Photos of Trump, Saudi King Salman, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi touching the orb, which Saudi media said was part of a ceremony that "officially activated" a welcome video to the foreign heads of state, prompted a stream of jokes online, with some noting the images looked like a gathering of villains enacting a sinister plot.

A new book titled, MBS, written by New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard, said after Trump departed Saudi Arabia an "orb, slightly used" appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh.

“It sat in a hallway for a number of days, where diplomats passing by would pose for photos,” he wrote, adding that "the orb was hidden away in embassy storage" after “someone apparently worried that the photos would make their way online and cause a scandal."

Hubbard wrote that the U.S. media's response to the orb prompted the Saudi government to gift the orb to the U.S.

Book: Saudis Gifted Mysterious Glowing Orb to the United States
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced the detention of hundreds of government officials, including military and security officers, on charges involving bribery and exploiting public office, and said investigators would bring charges against them.

Saudi Arabia detains 298 public officials in new corruption probes
FILE PHOTO: The gates of the Ritz-Carlton hotel are seen open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
Scores of the kingdom’s economic and political elite were detained in 2017 at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in a corruption crackdown that unsettled some foreign investors.

The royal court said last year it was winding down that campaign after 15 months, but the authorities later said they would start going after graft by ordinary government employees.

An anti-corruption body known as Nazaha tweeted on Sunday that it had arrested and would indict 298 people on crimes such as bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power involving a total of 379 million riyals ($101 million).

Among those implicated are eight defense ministry officers suspected of bribery and money laundering in relation to government contracts during the years 2005-2015, and 29 interior ministry officials in the Eastern Province, including three colonels, a major general and a brigadier general.

Two judges were also detained for receiving bribes, along with nine officials accused of corruption at Riyadh’s AlMaarefa University which resulted in severe damage to a building and caused deaths and injuries, Nazaha said.

Saudi Arabia closes malls, restaurants, cafes and parks over coronavirus
FILE PHOTO: Visitors are seen at King Fahd Library Garden, following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 12, 2020. Picture taken March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
Saudi Arabia ordered the closure on Sunday of malls, restaurants, coffee shops and public parks and gardens, while exempting supermarkets, pharmacies and food delivery, in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia restricts movement, other Gulf states limit entry as coronavirus spreads
FILE PHOTO: Expatriates wait for mandatory coronavirus testing in a makeshift testing centre in Mishref, Kuwait  March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee
Saudi Arabia closed malls, restaurants, cafes and public parks on Sunday while Qatar and Oman imposed entry restrictions as Gulf Arab states broadened efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and support their economies.

Saudi crown prince, UK's PM discuss cutting coronavirus economic impact
FILE PHOTO: Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman attends the 14th Islamic summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Waleed Ali
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed how to reduce the economic consequences of coronavirus, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday.
 

Laurs

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Finally some good news for the people of Yemen: a ceasefire (with possibility for ending this war) has been declared in Yemen.

'In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the ceasefire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said the ceasefire could be extended to pave the way for all the parties “to discuss proposals, steps, and mechanisms for sustainable ceasefire in Yemen ... for a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finally some good news for the people of Yemen: a ceasefire (with possibility for ending this war) has been declared in Yemen.

'In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the ceasefire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said the ceasefire could be extended to pave the way for all the parties “to discuss proposals, steps, and mechanisms for sustainable ceasefire in Yemen ... for a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”

The ceasefire hadn't lasted long. Shortly after the announcement, the Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed several Yemeni regions.
 

Debra

Jedi Council Member
Meanwhile, in Canada, creepy little lateral lisper (Moist talker!) PM Justin Trudeau has snuck this agreement through for his "Operators":

Canada lifts Khashoggi-inspired freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia
Citing kingdom's 'terrible human rights record,' opposition calls for $14bn armoured vehicles deal to be scrapped

By
MEE and agencies
Published date: 10 April 2020
10:56 UTC

Canada is lifting a freeze on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and has renegotiated a much-criticised $14bn contract to sell General Dynamics Corp armoured vehicles to Riyadh, Ottowa announced on Thursday.

The "significant improvements" to the contract would secure thousands of jobs at the US firm's Canadian subsidiary, where the vehicles are being made, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said.

The move marks a retreat by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said in December 2018 that he was looking for a way out of the deal.


Rights groups question 'sincerity' of Canada's review of Saudi arms deal

A month earlier, the government had frozen new permits pending a review. Some exports though continued under permits which had already been issued, Reuters said.

Human rights groups and political opponents, citing the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia's involvement in the Yemen war, had insisted Ottawa scrap a deal agreed by the previous Conservative government in 2014.

Champagne said that under the terms of the renegotiated agreement, Canada could delay or cancel permits without penalty if it discovered Saudi Arabia was not using the vehicles for their stated purpose.
Ottawa would also boost its scrutiny of all proposed weapons sales, he added.

"This not a blank cheque to anyone who wants to export anything to Saudi Arabia," Champagne told reporters.

"We are troubled by the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, particularly with women's rights."

'An undemocratic authoritarian regime'

Trudeau had said there would be huge penalties for scrapping the deal but gave no details.
Champagne said the penalty clause had potentially been worth the entire value of the deal.

The opposition New Democrats said Ottawa was "sending armoured vehicles to an undemocratic authoritarian regime with a terrible human rights record" and demanded the deal be scrapped.

The agreement was signed despite a diplomatic dispute between the two nations, which erupted in August 2018 after Canada criticised Saudi Arabia over human rights.

The General Dynamics plant is based in London, Ontario, an area of relatively high unemployment.

The Saudi announcement came on the same day Canada reported record job losses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"As we enter a world of deep economic recession, countries - including Canada - will likely be even less willing to give weight to human rights considerations in decisions over arms exports," said Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor and Middle East expert at the University of Ottawa.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
Saudi Arabia’s 84-year-old ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, has been admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh, suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder, state news agency SPA said on Monday.

Prayers pour in for King Salman on social media after medical tests


July 21, 2020 - RIYADH: Social media platforms were abuzz with the news about King Salman undergoing medical tests on Monday. The royal court said the king was admitted to King Faisal Special Hospital.

Saudis and non-Saudis took to Twitter to wish a speedy recovery to King Salman. Prayers poured in from different parts of the world and different hashtags began trending on Twitter.

Prince Sattam Al-Saud, Turki Al-Sheikh, Fayez Malki, Mustafa Agha, Ali Najm, and Abdulmajeed Abduallah are among other royalties and celebrities and media figures who tweeted about the news praying and wishing for King Salman.

Saudi King Salman, 84, admitted to hospital
July 19, 2020 - The king, who has ruled the world’s largest oil exporter and close U.S. ally since 2015, is undergoing medical checks, the agency added, without giving details.

After the news, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi postponed a visit scheduled to Saudi Arabia, said Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

King Salman received phone calls from the leaders of Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan, who were “reassured of his health”, SPA reported later on Monday.

Kuwait’s 91-year-old ruler Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah himself underwent surgery on Sunday.

King Salman, the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, spent more than 2-1/2 years as the Saudi crown prince and deputy premier from June 2012 before becoming king. He also served as governor of the Riyadh region for more than 50 years.

The de facto ruler and next in line to the throne is the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, widely referred to as MbS, who has launched reforms to transform the kingdom’s economy and end its “addiction” to oil.

The 34-year-old prince, who is popular among many young Saudis, has won praise at home for easing social restrictions in the conservative Muslim kingdom, giving more rights to women and pledging to diversify the economy.

To the king’s supporters, this boldness at home and abroad was a welcome change after decades of caution, stagnation and dithering.
But state control of the media and a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom make it difficult to gauge the extent of domestic enthusiasm.

The crown prince’s reforms have been accompanied by a purge of top royals and businessmen on charges of corruption, and a costly war in Yemen, which have all unnerved some Western allies and investors.

His prestige also suffered a blow after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the hands of Saudi security personnel seen as close to him.

Saudi social media campaign targets former crown prince

r

July 19, 2020 - Saudi Twitter users have sent thousands of tweets accusing the kingdom’s former crown prince and his long-time aide of corruption, in what two Saudi sources said was a campaign to discredit him ahead of a possible indictment, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman moves to sideline rivals to the throne.

The tweets against Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was ousted and replaced as heir to the throne by the crown prince in a palace coup in 2017, began on Friday and also targeted his aide, ex-intelligence official Saad al-Jabri.

The Twitter storm comes as King Salman, 84, was admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh on Monday, suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder, according to state news agency SPA. The government’s media office declined to comment further on his condition.

The two Saudi sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the campaign by apparent pro-government Twitter users was aimed at swaying public opinion ahead of an expected announcement of corruption charges against bin Nayef.

“They have been preparing documents against him since March,” said one of sources, who is familiar with the matter, adding that those behind the Twitter campaign wanted to “smear his image domestically”.

The second Saudi source said the campaign clearly had government backing since prominent Saudis close to the crown prince — known by the initials MbS — were amplifying the tweets.

Prior to his ouster, bin Nayef was seen as the most significant rival for the throne. He controlled the country’s security forces, developed close ties to Western intelligence agencies, and remains popular among conservatives sidelined by the crown prince.

Saudi authorities detained bin Nayef in March and he is being held along with two other senior royals in an undisclosed location. Jabri is in exile in Canada, while his two adult children were also detained by Saudi authorities in March.

“ACCELERATING THE CAMPAIGN”
Several influential Saudi newspapers on Sunday carried a Wall Street Journal report published on Friday that cited Saudi officials and government documents as saying Jabri led a network of officials who misspent $11 billion in government money from an interior ministry fund during bin Nayef’s time there.

Jabri’s son Khalid strongly denied the Journal report, saying in a text message that his father never controlled the fund and that bin Nayef “had the sole and full discretion” over it “with a clear and undisputed mandate from King Abdullah.”

Thousands of Twitter accounts used the Arabic hashtags “the fugitive Saad al Jabri” and “Saad al Jabri’s corruption” over the weekend.

One high-profile account which frequently tweets pro-government content and has more than 1.2 million followers, Al Radaa al Saudi, tweeted: “Mohammed Bin Nayef allowed the corruption network run by al-Jabri to operate.”

A well-connected diplomat said the tweets paved the way for the Saudi authorities to accuse bin Nayef of involvement in Jabri’s alleged corruption.

The first Saudi source said MbS’s aides were “accelerating the campaign” against bin Nayef and Jabri ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election in case President Donald Trump, who has publicly voiced support for MbS, loses.

Trump’s opponent, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, has taken a tougher stance towards MbS, promising to make him “pay the price” for the killing in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vowing to end arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

Twitter has been a favourite tool of Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to MbS, who ran the royal court's media center and formed an electronic army tasked with protecting the kingdom's image and attacking its enemies online. (reut.rs/3fMAoSS)

Qahtani was fired in 2018 for his alleged involvement in the killing of Khashoggi and was investigated but not charged. Several sources have told Reuters that he remains in the crown prince’s inner circle.
 

Ocean

The Living Force
Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three more to jail terms totaling 24 years over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October last year.

Saudi Arabia sentences five to death over Khashoggi murder, U.N. official decries 'mockery'
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced five people to death and three more to prison for the assassination last year of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Joe Davies report.
Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but a U.N. investigator accused it of making a "mockery" of justice by allowing the masterminds of last year's killing to go free.

Factbox: Who are Saudis under spotlight over Khashoggi's killing?
Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor and spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan delivers a speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 23, 2019. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

The Saudi public prosecutor did not name the sentenced individuals on Monday. But the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, in a report issued in June, had identified 11 individuals on trial and those facing death sentences, based on information from various governments’ sources.

Who are Saudis under spotlight over Jamal Khashoggi's killing?
Following are profiles of some of those who have been held, investigated or fired in Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case,
based on media reports and photos, plus information from officials and sources.

Khashoggi's son says justice has been achieved in his father's case: tweet
The son of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Monday his family had achieved justice thanks to the verdict of Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor.

Khashoggi's fiancee says execution of those convicted would conceal truth
The fiancee of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi described the sentencing of five people to death in relation to the killing as unfair and invalid, adding that their execution would further conceal the truth.

Saudi security forces kill two "terrorists" after Dammam city shooting: TV
Saudi security forces killed two "terrorists" on Wednesday after a shooting in a residential neighborhood in the eastern city of Dammam, state television al-Ekhbariya reported.

U.S. sees Saudi trial as 'important step': senior U.S. official
The United States considers Saudi Arabia's sentencing of five people to death and three more to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "an important step" in holding those responsible for the crime accountable, a senior official of the U.S. administration said on Monday.

Riyadh signs deal with Raytheon Saudi Arabia to localize Patriot maintenance FILE PHOTO: A visitor walks past the Raytheon stand at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Saudi Arabia signed a deal with the local unit of U.S. weapons maker Raytheon on Saturday to localize maintenance of its Patriot missile defense system, as part of efforts to boost Saudi's defense industries and its broader economy.

 

Ocean

The Living Force

Crown prince MBS faces fallout in Saudi-US relations after report on Khashoggi murder​



Issued on: 01/03/2021 - 17:57
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured in Riyadh on October 23, 2018, three weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured in Riyadh on October 23, 2018, three weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. © Fayez Nureldine, AFP


President Joe Biden’s decision to publish a US intelligence report asserting that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to “capture or kill” US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi not only alters the relationship between Washington and Riyadh but refocuses attention on the Saudi heir and de facto ruler of the kingdom.


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS) had reason to fear Biden’s election victory over former president Donald Trump. As a presidential candidate, Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank that Trump had “defended not the slain US resident but his killers”.

After Washington declassified an intelligence report Friday that accused MBS of having approved the operation that resulted in the murder and dismemberment of the Saudi journalist, the 35-year-old crown prince appeared to be the big loser on the Middle East diplomatic scene.

Biden, who wants to "recalibrate" relations with Riyadh, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has never hid his hostility toward MBS, especially during the 2020 campaign.
Although Washington did not place sanctions on the prince, Biden’s public disavowal of his leadership – the president made his first call to Riyadh to 85-year-old King Salman, following a White House statement that Biden would communicate solely with the king – set back MBS’s effort to rehabilitate his image and that of his country.

International repercussions
The diplomatic shift is a hard blow for the man who presented himself to the West as a tolerant and reformist leader determined to gently liberalise an ultra-conservative kingdom.
MBS’s status has risen swiftly since his father, who became the Saudi king in early 2015, immediately appointed him as defence minister and then, in 2017, crown prince. The current heir to the throne became known for his project to transform the oil-dependent Saudi economy and his commitment to fight corruption and terrorism.
But his initiatives were quickly overshadowed by brutal methods of governance and an authoritarian drift. A few months after becoming crown prince, MBS became de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, transforming the Wahhabi Islam kingdom from a monarchy based on consensus between different branches of the royal family to a personalised regime with power concentrated in his hands.
Charm offensives and foreign tours garnered media attention and made people forget hasty campaigns to arrest members of the royal family, human rights activists, intellectuals and critics. Khashoggi, who had gone into exile in the US the same year MBS became crown prince, denounced such abuses on several occasions in uncompromising editorials in The Washington Post.
Khashoggi’s assassination on October 2, 2018 during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a crime UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said was credibly linked to MBS in a 2019 report, tarnished the crown prince’s image and placed the Saudi monarchy’s human rights record back in the spotlight.
That record includes restrictions on free speech and association, prohibition of peaceful assembly and denial of religious freedom, excepting Islam. The record also includes discrimination against women and Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority, unfair trials, and arbitrary death sentences and torture.
The Saudi monarchy’s repression of domestic dissent is not new, but it has become more severe since MBS’ rise to power.
‘Humanitarian catastrophe’
The crown prince’s international moves have not led to positive outcomes according to Karim Sader, a political scientist and Persian Gulf specialist.
“Whether it’s the quagmire in Yemen that has become a Vietnam at the gates of the kingdom, the muscular embargo designed to weaken Qatar, or even the pressure on Lebanon and the dubious resignation of (then) prime minister Saad Hariri … None of his initiatives have allowed the Saudis to strengthen their position on the regional chessboard against Iran,” Sader told FRANCE 24 late last year.
The World Food Programme calls the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has supported forces fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels since March 2015, “one of the world’s worst hunger crises”, and the UN is hosting a virtual fundraising event Monday to avert a potential famine.
Biden in early February announced the US would halt support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, describing the war there as “a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe” more than three weeks before his administration released the intelligence report on Khashoggi’s murder.

Preserving ‘authoritarian rule’
Celebrated by then president Trump during a May 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia, MBS had linked his diplomacy to the former administration’s, focused like him on weakening Iran, and became close to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law whose portfolio included the Middle East.
The crown prince’s relationship with the Trump White House served him well when news of Khashoggi’s killing broke. Trump personally defended the Saudi heir to assure his backing for the Kushner-crafted “deal of the century” Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, and for certain Gulf countries and Israel to establish diplomatic relations.
However American media, Democratic elected officials and even top Senate Republicans including Trump ally Lindsey Graham, who said “you’d have to be wilfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was organised by people under the control” of the crown prince, were unsparing in their condemnation.

Newsweek magazine on October 19, 2018 unveiled an unpublished and undated interview with Khashoggi in which the Saudi journalist said “deep inside him, [MBS] is an old-fashioned tribal leader” who wants to preserve “his authoritarian rule”. He also said that he feared for his own life.
MBS himself took “full responsibility” for Khashoggi’s murder in a TV interview almost a year after the killing took place but denied that he had ordered it. Riyadh has never revealed the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body. The journalist was never seen again after his appointment at the consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
With Friday’s publication of the CIA report, the strongman of the Wahhabi monarchy is no longer untouchable. Biden’s choice to extend a hand to Tehran with a view toward a possible return to the 2015 nuclear deal and his restrictions on military aid to Riyadh have undoubtedly made the crown prince lose the feeling of impunity he enjoyed during Trump’s term in office.

MBS now appears to be an embarrassing ally for the United States. MBS’s future within Saudi Arabia, and whether the US is engaged in a process to bring about his downfall, remains to be seen.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Saudi Arabia wants to replace the US 'Patriot' with the Russian S-400 or Chinese HQ-22, because it is not effective, while US threatening to withdraw its military and air defense systems over the oil prices.

'The 'successful' US Patriot missile defense system will be more 'successful'.' :lol:

By Morgan Artyukhina - 18.06.2021

By Oren Liebermann - June 19, 2021
 
Top Bottom