Three members of the Saudi royal family have been arrested for an alleged coup attempt to oust King Salman and the son designated to succeed him, the crown prince.
Sources with knowledge of the matter say that a possible reason for the arrests could be a move by Mohammed bin Salman, already the country’s effective leader to counter potential challengers to his succession after King Salman, who is 84, dies or leaves the throne.
Mohammed bin Nayef and his half-brother, Nawaf, were picked up at a private desert camp on Friday while Prince Ahmed was picked up from his home.
Mohammed bin Salman who is in charge of day-to-day governance in the kingdom, has been praised in the West for implementing social reforms, but has also drawn intense criticism for a tough crackdown on Saudis perceived as critics of his policies.
Mohammed bin Salman also came under scrutiny after the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.