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Eight of King Salman’s 11 surviving brothers want to oust him

Eight of King Salman’s 11 surviving brothers want to oust him thumbnail

Eight of the 12 surviving sons of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch are supporting a move to oust King Salman, 79, the country’s ailing ruler, and replace him with his 73-year-old brother, according to a dissident prince.

The prince also claims that a clear majority of the country’s powerful Islamic clerics, known as the Ulama, would back a palace coup to oust the current King and install Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a former Interior Minister, in his place. “The Ulama and religious people prefer Prince Ahmed – not all of them, but 75 per cent,” said the prince, himself a grandson of King Ibn Saud, who founded the ruling dynasty in 1932.

Support from the clerics would be vital for any change of monarch, since in the Saudi system only they have the power to confer religious and therefore political legitimacy on the leadership.

The revelation suggests there is increasing pressure within the normally secretive Saudi royal family to bring to a head the internal power struggle that has erupted since King Salman inherited the throne at the beginning of this year. The prince, who cannot be named for security reasons, is the author of two recently published letters calling for the royal family to replace the current Saudi leadership.

In 1964 King Saud was finally deposed after a long power struggle, when the majority of senior royal family members and the Kingdom’s religious establishment spoke with one voice and withdrew their support. The prince says something similar is going to happen again soon.

“Either the King will leave Saudi Arabia, like King Saud, and he will be very respected inside and outside the country,” he told The Independent. “Alternatively Prince Ahmed will become Crown Prince, but with control of and responsibility for the whole country – the economy, oil, armed forces, national guard, interior ministry, secret  service, in fact everything from A to Z.”

Unhappiness at King Salman’s own diminishing faculties – he is reported to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – has been compounded by his controversial appointments, the continuing and costly war in Yemen and the recent Hajj disaster. Earlier this week the International Monetary Fund warned that Saudi Arabia may run out of financial assets within five years unless the government sharply curbs its spending, because of a combination of low oil prices and the economic impact of regional wars.

The King’s appointment of his favourite son, Mohammed bin Salman, 30, to the novel post of Deputy Crown Prince in April, and the decision to make him Defence Minister – enabling him to launch a proxy war in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who forced the pro-Saudi former President to flee – have heightened tensions. He is said to have assumed too much power and wealth since being elevated to this position. “Any paper or phone call to his father goes through him,” said the prince. The current Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, 56, a nephew of King Salman, is also unpopular.

Prince Ahmed, the man most family members support to take over the throne, is the youngest son of the Kingdom’s founder by his favourite wife, Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi. He was deputy interior minister for 37 years and spent four years responsible for the religious sites in Mecca before being appointed Interior Minister in 2012.

He left the post five months later, officially at his own request, and was replaced by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, now the Crown Prince. The dissident prince claims Prince Ahmed left after a disagreement about the treatment of political detainees.

“Prince Ahmed wants to introduce reforms like freedom of thought, cleaning up the justice system and freeing political prisoners who don’t have anything to do with terrorism,” he said.

“Many political prisoners have been in prison since before 2001 because of their wise opinion and their moderate Islamic views. If Prince Ahmed has the authority he will allow such people out.”

Prince Ahmed, who has a Master’s degree in political science, is favoured by clerics and by others within the royal family because of his professional experience and moderate lifestyle, according to the prince. “The eldest brothers want him because he is healthy and wise, and he has been clean all his life. He is not in trouble with gambling, women, drink or drugs.

“Prince Ahmed likes the desert, hunting and sitting by the Red Sea or in Taif, by the mountains. He is religious but open-minded, he knows English and follows the world news.”

The current King’s third wife, Fahda Al Hithlain, is said by the prince to be another key figure. “She is Mohammed bin Salman’s mother and has influence on his father,” he said. “The King is in love with her and so he is in love with Mohammed bin Salman.” However, because of ill health she has reportedly spent little time in Saudi Arabia recently.

The struggle to remove King Saud took several years and led to tension between Saudi Arabia’s main armed organisations – the army, interior ministry and national guard – before finally he left without bloodshed. The prince expects the same will happen this time. “It is a kind of internal revolution. We want financial and political reform, freedom of thought and cleaning the justice system, freeing the political prisoners and proper Islamic sharia,” he said.

The Saudi embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment.


16 Comments on "Eight of King Salman’s 11 surviving brothers want to oust him"

  1. george on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 1:02 pm 

    They all look like Zanti misfits .

  2. bug on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 3:42 pm 

    Thanks George, I was wondering what they
    Reminded me of, and Zanti misfits fits perfectly.

  3. apneaman on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 3:48 pm 

    Put them all in the ring, including the, so called king, and let em fight for it. Thunder Dome KSA style – “9 Rag Heads Enter 1 Rag Head leaves!” “9 Rag Heads Enter 1 Rag Head leaves!”

  4. penury on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 4:21 pm 

    This comes under the heading of “so what, Who cares? What difference will it make to the people who are being repressed, treated as slaves, ruled by in-bred psycopaths. Reminds me of next years U.S. election.

  5. BobInget on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 4:35 pm 

    I urge all male expat Saudis to do their democratic duties, make sure you vote in king of your choice. If you live in Oregon, pick up a mail in ballot in Portland.

    “Born in the coastal city of Jeddah on the Red Sea in 1959, Nayef belongs to a generation of grandsons of Saudi Arabia’s founder, the late King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. He studied in the US at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, though he never earned a degree.

    Nayef also attended FBI security courses in the US from 1985 to 1988 and trained with antiterrorism units in the London police force from 1992 to 1994.

    In 1999 Nayef was appointed Saudi assistant interior minister for security affairs, where he is credited for the success of the ministry’s counterterrorism program. He was also regarded as the architect of the government’s counterinsurgency program.

    In 2012 Nayef became minister of the interior, a rank he still holds today. He also holds ranks in the Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia and chairs the Council for Political and Security Affairs. He is widely known as the Saudi counterterrorism czar after crushing an Al Qaeda uprising and has been the point man in Saudi military operations in Syria and, more recently, Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen”.

  6. makati1 on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 7:33 pm 

    Thanks for the laugh, Penury! The bunch of psycho misfits running for Prez in the Us are a perfect example of America today. Fat, arrogant, and liars all.

    As for the Saudi bunch, the world you and I grew up in is gone. The one that will emerge, in the next few years, will be just the reverse, it seems to me. The KSA is going to break up or down as the family squabbles over the shrinking assets.

    We live in interesting times.

  7. dave thompson on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 7:58 pm

  8. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Sat, 24th Oct 2015 10:21 pm 

    The House of Saud is not exactly a homogenous organization. It is far more fragmented now than it has ever been. The concensus for a palace coup in 1964 probably required no more than a dozen men to agree on a simple plan. Today a palace coup would involve hundreds of stakeholders with wide and varying interests, many of which would be in direct competition, to agree on numerous complex issues. KSA will fragment. Call it lebanonization. Call it Balkanization. Call it what you want. It will be civil war. King Salman has had barely a year on the throne and he and his clique have trainwrecked hard. The House of cards, er I mean Saud will be lucky to survive the decade.

  9. peakyeast on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 1:05 am 

    I wonder if that Saudi third wife is the one that is mooching on the Danish welfare system costing us millions and terrorizing our health-workers so they need psychological help afterwards…

    That family is truly behaving disgustingly here in Denmark..

  10. Davy on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 10:22 am 

    And in other news from the middle east:

    “Developing: Israeli Military Enters Syria, Border Clashes/Bombings”

    “Syrian army captures rebel base in Quneitra.
    Israeli plane down near border.
    Israeli pilot taken prisoner, some say by ISIS.
    Israel declares emergency, issues gag order.
    Israeli jets fly over Quneitra, Syria.
    Israeli helicopters make incursion into Syria.
    Israeli jets begin bombing Quneitra.
    Israeli drone nears Lebanon border.
    Jets continue bombing Quneitra at random points.
    More Israeli helicopters enter Syria.
    Troops enter Syria to recover pilot, clashes erupt along the border, possibly in disputed territory.
    Bombing of Quneitra continues during border clashes.”

  11. joe on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 11:35 am 

    They have spent 80 years radicalising and lying to their people, chopping off heads and hands with such regularity that it does not need my comment to say just how savage they are, and how psychotic they have made their own people.
    They won’t rock the boat now, any sign of weakness and all those psychos declare themselves an ISLAMIC STATE. Right now the Saudi Wahabbi police state rules, but that won’t last forever, let’s not forget just how jittery the religio-facist superstious losers got when a crane fell over. I wonder if the US would have the sand (forgive the pun) to stabilise Arabia when it does blow up in their faces though. Or will it be a job for that Dark Knight from Moscow?

  12. apneaman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 5:40 pm 

    Muslim Cleric: Terrorist Women In Heaven “Will Have A Man With A Penis That Never Bends”

  13. bug on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 6:41 pm 

    Joe, deep down you know we will do it, think about the oil,

  14. apneaman on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 7:15 pm 

    joe, the USA is just as brutal and psychotic as the KSA. Not a week goes by without a mass shooting. And just because the torture is done at some “Black site” instead of in the street does not change anything. 3 weeks to the next Black Friday. Pay attention if you want to see some Christian consumer savages.

  15. makati1 on Sun, 25th Oct 2015 10:42 pm 

    In the real news…

    ‘Divide and Conquer: The Globalist Pathway to New World Order Tyranny”

    “…Indeed there are very few regions on earth where US Empire has not actively supported or organized coup d’états or otherwise overthrown and/or assassinated foreign leaders and governments. One readily can see that the alphabetical shortlist that follows is actually very long:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Colorado, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Dakota, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Uruguay, USSR, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Yemen, Yugoslavia and Zaire

    And the list above doesn’t even include assassinations committed by government insiders inside the US of such prominent American leaders as JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and RFK. With thousands of murderous hitmen posing as federal agents undoubtedly never serving even one day in prison for committing so much murder, mayhem and chaos over so many years on such a colossal global scale, it’s mind boggling to even fathom how their sins go unpunished….”

    And the 1st horse rode out…

  16. Kenz300 on Mon, 26th Oct 2015 9:22 am 

    KSA is a one trick pony………

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