A Saudi Arab Spring


The purge orchestrated by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman — which targeted 11 princes, 38 businessmen, and current and former ministers — is quite unique in the history of the country.

The list of the arrestees, as part of this vast anti-corruption drive carried out by the Saudi authorities, includes: famous billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns major stakes in Twitter and Euro Disney, as well as the George V hotel in Paris; the chairman of the big Saudi Binladin construction group, Bakr bin Laden; two sons of the late King Abdullah, who died in 2015 — Miteb bin Abdullah, who is the powerful head of the National Guard, and Turki bin Abdullah, the former governor of Riyadh; businessman Saleh Kamel; as well as Environment and Economy ministers Turki bin Nasser and Adel Fakeih, respectively.

These arrests were warranted by an anti-corruption commission, created by King Salman and led by his son, Mohammed bin Salman, and which launched a probe into old cases such as floods that devastated the city of Jeddah (west) in 2009.

Continue reading…