Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS) has made a Twitter war against his former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The ammo of choice is Nayef’s aide and former intelligence official, Saad al-Jabri.
It’s been three years since the Saudi Palace coup, but crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is not yet done removing all possible opponents.
A quick recap for why Mohammed Bin Salman has targetted the former crown prince. Mohammed bin Nayef is a member of the Saudi royal family. He is 60 years old.
Mohammed bin Nayef is a member of the Saudi royal family. He is 60 years old. Nayef is the grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch, King Abdulaziz, which means he is a cousin of Mohammad bin Salman.
Nayef was appointed crown prince by King Salman in April 2015. He was already serving as the interior minister of Saudi Arabia.
Two years later, he was asked to step aside and make way for his cousin Mohammad bin Salman. Nayef also lost the interior ministry while at the office, Nayef was seen as the most pro-US leader. He played a significant role in Saudi Arabia’s internal security policies and was called ‘the prince of counter-terrorism’ for his crackdown on Al Qaeda.
He is a prominent member of the Saudi royal family and enjoys support at home and abroad. Both factors do not go down too well with Mohammad bin Salman. The crown prince has cracked down on any leader who he views as a threat to his power. The clampdowns have been rather ruthless and Shakespearean.
There was no way a leader as prominent as bin Nayef was going to be an exception. Mohammed al Nayef was detained in March.
No one knows where he is currently being held. MBS’ men have been trying to dig dirt on Nayef. They seem to have found a sheep in former intel officer Saad al-Jabri.
He is a friend of Bin Nayef, and he is currently in exile in Canada. According to reports, Jafri led a network of officials who misspent $11 billion in government money. The money was from the interior ministry fund. Experts say Saudi authorities want to accuse bin Nayef of being involved in Jabri’s alleged corruption.
Bin Nayef was the interior minister, so Saudi authorities want to prove that the money was misspent under al Nayef’s watch. There are documents to prove either Jabri’s or Al-Nayef’s involvement in the alleged corruption.
MBS is trying his best to sway the public opinion against the two men. Tweets with the hashtag ‘the fugitive Saad al Jabri’ and ‘Saad al Jabri’s corruption’ picked pace over the weekend. Questions were raised on Al Nayef’s loyalty to the kingdom.
Experts have pointed out that pro-government Twitter users were leading the campaign. MBS has been trying to defeat all possible opposition ahead of the upcoming November polls. He fears Donald Trump’s loss. Democratic nominee Joe Biden has promised to make MBS pay for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He has also vowed to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, putting Al Nayef behind bars is part of Mohammad bin Salman’s planning.
In case Trump loses, and there could be global pressure against MBS, he can continue to remain in power by removing every possible opposition and nipping counter-coups in the bud. King Salman’s brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz, is in detention, and al-Nayef, who was long seen as an heir to the throne, is the new target.
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