Analysts said the goal of the purge went beyond corruption in addition to also aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed as he pushes an ambitious in addition to also controversial reform agenda.
In September he announced which a ban on women driving would likely be lifted in addition to also he is usually trying to break decades of conservative tradition by promoting public entertainment in addition to also visits by foreign tourists.
In economic policy, he has slashed state spending in some areas in addition to also plans a big sale of state assets.
“The most recent crackdown breaks with the tradition of consensus within the ruling family whose secretive inner workings are equivalent to those of the Kremlin at the time of the Soviet Union,” wrote James Dorsey, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
“Prince Mohammed, rather than forging alliances, is usually extending his iron grip to the ruling family, the military, in addition to also the National Guard to counter what appears to be more widespread opposition within the family as well as the military to his reforms in addition to also the Yemen war,” Dorsey said.
An economist at a big Gulf bank, who declined to be named because of political sensitivities, said nobody in Saudi Arabia believed corruption was at the root of the purge.
“the item’s about consolidating power in addition to also frustration which reforms haven’t been happening fast enough,” the economist said.
The round-up sets alarm bells ringing across the region in addition to also beyond. the item also recalls the palace coup in June through which Mohammad bin Salman ousted his elder cousin, Mohammad bin Nayef, as heir to the throne in addition to also Internal minister.
MbS, as he is usually known, was widely required to follow through by, at the least, removing Prince Miteb bin Abdallah via leadership of the National Guard, a pivotal power-base rooted inside kingdom’s tribes.
different detainees include former finance minister Ibrahim al-Assaf, a board member of national oil giant Saudi Aramco; economy minister Adel Fakieh, who once played a major role in drafting reforms; former Riyadh governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah in addition to also Khalid al-Tuwaijiri, who headed the Royal Court under the late King Abdullah.
Prince Alwaleed is usually one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known international businessmen as an investor in firms such as Citigroup in addition to also Twitter.
Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the big Saudi Binladin construction group, in addition to also Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of the MBC television network, were also detained.
Some detainees were believed to be held at the opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel inside diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, sources in contact with the government told Reuters. The hotel in addition to also an adjacent facility were the site of an international conference promoting Saudi Arabia as an investment destination last month.