US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — Saudi authorities have arrested three members of the royal family, including a king’s brother and a former crown prince, for a suspected coup attempt, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Reportedly, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al Saud, King Salman’s brother, and former crown prince Mohamed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the king’s nephew, have been charged with treason.
Guards from the royal court dressed in masks raided the homes of senior members of the royal family early Friday and arrested them, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the case.
The guards also arrested one of the prince’s brothers.
“The Saudi royal court charged both men with plotting a coup to kill the crown king and prince, according to persons familiar with the situation,” the report said, referring to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
In November 2017, Saudi authorities arrested dozens of businessmen and princes on corruption charges and held them at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.
Since then, bin Salman, who has faced sharp criticism for his alleged role in the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has consolidated his grip on power.
Khashoggi, an American resident and columnist for the Washington Post, disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later, the Saudi government admitted that he had been killed there, blaming a group of Saudi operatives who, according to her, acted unknowingly by authorities.
It has been reported that the CIA has concluded that bin Salman has directed Khashoggi’s assassination.
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