Looks like a coup. Oh, wait. A coup is when the out-of-power people toss out the in-power people. This is a case of the in-power people deposing a bunch of other in-power people because, um, I don’t know.
Maybe it is power consolidation. Maybe it is a counter-coup. Maybe I don’t have any idea what it is and neither does anyone else with a byline. Another option is purge.
11/4/17 – Wall Street Journal – Saudi Princes, Former Ministers Arrested in Apparent Power Consolidation – At least ten senior princes and over 20 (per article) cabinet members were arrested on corruption charges Saturday night.
One was Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a billionaire, prominent investor in U.S., and often an interviewee on US TV business shows.
Article asserts this is a major effort for power consolidation by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The orders were issued by King Salman.
Keep in mind MBS moved into the #2, Crown Prince, role by a night-time soft coup over the previous Crown Prince. Speculation by people bold enough to speculate is the King will abdicate in favor of the Crown Prince MBS sometime in 2018.
11/4/17 – Zero Hedge – In Shocking Purge, Saudi King Arrests Billionaire Prince bin Talal, Dozens of Others in Cabinet Crackdown – Eleven senior princes were arrested along with 38 or so ministers.
Charges are reportedly money laundering.
Just as a not-so-wild guess, I’m thinking every one of the thousands of members of the Saudi family who has enough money to bother secreting a moderate stash away in Geneva or some other no-questions-asked country has been doing money laundering since they had enough money to think they could sneak away if the need ever arose.
Like it did tonight.
Rumors are all private flights out of Saudi Arabia are on hold, along with all VIP flights.
Removal of the head of the National Guard, a major security organ and power base, means that agency is for the first time not under the control of Abdullah or son.