11/07/2017, 14.16
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Night of the Devils of Fear: War in the Saudi royal family

by Pierre Balanian

Mohammed bin Salman wants all the power and to gain it he is waging war against everything and against everyone. Added to the external wars - Syria, Yemen, Iran, Qatar, Hezbollah - are internal ones among the Saud. Illustrious arrests of 11 princes, 38 ministers and businessmen for corruption: all allies of the late King Abdallah or rivals to the throne. Among the allies of Mohammed bin Salman: Donald Trump and Israel.

Riyadh (AsiaNews) - The "Monarchy of Silence" - as Saudi Arabia once called it - is increasingly raising its voice and approaching the throne of the generation of its grandchildren, its a voice of war: Syria, Yemen , threats against Qatar, Iran and Lebanon Hezbollah. For four days, it turns out that there is also an internal war among the Al Saud.

"The Night of the Devils of Fear": This is the storm that has swept up 11 princes, 38 ministers and businessmen for corruption, by the Supreme Organ for the Fight against Corruption, created by King Salman just two hours before the arrests. The Body is chaired by the heir to the throne Mohammad Bin Salman (Mbs). The arrests mainly affected Mbs' political rivals and even those richer than him, with immediate freezes and seizure of bank accounts even before any court hearing. The arrests have also involved people close to the deceased sovereign and key characters of the Saudi and Panarabi press. Among them: Prince Al Walid Ben Talal, owner of the Rotana TV network; Sheikh Walid Al Ibrahim, owner of the MBC network; Saleh Kamel, owner of the TV network ART. Apparently, the heir to the throne intends to eliminate any contradictory voice and concentrate all the media power in his own hands, especially with the control of pan-Arabian TV Al Arabiya.

After receiving power from his father, who named him the heir to the throne, Mbs is now taking the power of the press, and with the anti-corruption campaign, the arrest of major investors and the freezing of their capitals, he has become the undisputed master of economic power. According to Saleh Al Zahrani, a Saudi writer, "King Salman has begun the Saudi Arab Spring against corruption in the country." But these words do little to convince internal and international public opinion.

Among the arrested are other illustrious names: Prince Fahd, former Deputy Minister of Defence; Prince Trki, former Prince of the Riyadh Region; Khaled El Tweijri, former head of the Royal Chancellery; Adel Fakih Minister of Planning; Ibrahim Assaf, former Minister of Finance; Abdallah Al Sultan, Chief of the Naval Forces; Bakr Bin Laden, owner of Bin Laden Industries; Mohammad Al Tobeishi former head of the royal protocol in the Royal Chancery; Prince Trki ben Nasser, former Minister of the environment, and many others whose names have not yet been revealed.

One of the most insidious rivals arrested on October 4 last is Prince Meteb Ben Abdallah Ben Abdelaziz, the third son of late King Abdallah, head of the National Guard. He could somehow hinder Mbs’ rise to the throne, claiming another possible rival,  his paternal uncle. According to trustworthy sources, Prince Ahmad Bin Abdelaziz, brother of the current Salman king, has been under house arrest for four days under the orders of the heir to the throne.

To ascend the throne, Mbs needed two consents: that of the royal family and that of the Wahabites, the two lungs of the Saudi kingdom. His distancing from the Wahhabites - done with gentleness, appointing a woman ambassador, ​​allowing women to drive, etc. - and the arrest of opponents within the royal family show that the future young king has chosen to impose his will at all costs, against everything and everyone. The press that is still free is wondering on whose leverage he is counting if he loses the support of the Royal family and religious authorities; where is his strength coming from that makes him so certain of his revolution.

Going deeper into the reasons for the arrests, one may note that his cousin Prince Al Walid Ben Talal, whose fortune is estimated at about $ 18 billion, is also due to Al Walid's support for Mohammad Ben Nayef Abdelaziz Al Saud, a former heir to the throne, vice president of the Council of Ministers and former interior minister, removed from power and put under house arrest.

Walid Ben Talal had publicly asked Mbs to release his cousin Mohammad Ben Nayef. In addition, he refused to finance and invest in Neom, the future city that the new heir to the throne wants to build. On Dec. 11, 2015, the billionaire also insulted Donlad Trump, declaring his opposition to Trump’s candidacy and calling him a “disgrace for the United States". Trump responded to him, saying, "That idot will not be able to control me." The war between the two continued in 2016 when Trump accused Prince Al Walid of being one of Fox News's owners.

Saudi Dweish, chairman of Saudi Telecommunications Corporation, the largest mobile and internet provider in the UK, is among the illustrious arrested, seized in five-star hotels.

Two days ago, an "accident" occurred in the southwest of the kingdom: the helicopter carrying Prince Mansur Ben Mokren ben Abdelaziz and some of Azir's principals spectacularly crashed. Some murmur that they were trying to escape the country.

It is now a real purge of opponents: two heads of the Mityar and Otaibeh tribes, faithful to the late sovereign Abdallah, have been banned from leaving the country.

Grazia Bitar, a Lebanese TV reporter, compared Mbs to Nero, ready to burn Saudi Arabia with internal struggles, war against Iran and riots in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Trump has taken to Twitter with for blessings for the king and the heir to the throne, who "know what he is doing".

The tenth television channel in Israel revealed yesterday that the Israeli foreign ministry has ordered Israeli embassies to support Saudi Arabia and focus on the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to press charges against Hezbollah. Disastrous and unsuccessful wars: for three years in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria; threats to Qatar, Lebanon and Iran. All these wars serve to distract attention from true inner war for the throne, or - as the Lebanese journalist says - is there an underlying aim to ignite everything?

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