Saudi Arabia: 3 senior members of royal family arrested for treason

BREAKING: Saudi Arabian authorities arrested three senior members of the Saudi royal family, including King Salman’s brother Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, consolidating the power of the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), and clearing away once-formidable rivals to the throne.

The other arrested royals are former Crown Prince M. bin Nayef and his brother, King Salman’s nephew.

The three were arrested and accused of treason early Friday morning, when guards from the royal court wearing masks and dressed in black arrived at their homes, took them into custody and searched their homes.

The arrests appeared linked to growing discontent among royals toward the Crown Prince’s rule, as some members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family and business elite have expressed frustration in the past.

Since King Salman took power, senior Saudi princes have been sidelined in favor of his son MBS and he is already viewed as the de facto ruler controlling all the major levers of government, from defense to the economy.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef had been in line to the throne and was the country’s interior minister before being stripped of his powers in 2017.

Later the same year, MBS embarked on his most sweeping crackdown during his reign, ordering security forces to arrest senior princes and prominent businessmen in what was declared a crackdown on corruption.