Thursday, May 17

It so happens MbS hasn't been seen in public since a ruckus at the palace last month UPDATE 5/21


So much for speculation that MbS was killed or wounded in an alleged coup attempt. See this May 18 report from Pakistan Today, which makes it pretty clear that MbS is still alive and well.

*****    Where's Mohammed? Media Speculate About Possible Death of Saudi Crown Prince
15:59 17.05.2018

The apparent disappearance of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the public eye has led several Iranian media outlets to wonder if one of the most powerful men in the kingdom might’ve been killed during an attempted coup last month.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was allegedly hit by two bullets during the April 21 attack on the royal palace in Riyadh and may actually be dead as he has not appeared in public since the incident, Kayhan newspaper reports citing "a secret service report sent to the senior officials of an unnamed Arab state."

As [Iran's] Press TV points out, no new photo or video of bin Salman has been released by Saudi authorities since that day, and the prince "was not even seen on camera when new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his maiden visit to Riyadh in late April."

"Bin Salman was a man who almost often appeared before the media but his 27-day absence since the gunfire in Riyadh has raised questions about his health," the Fars news agency remarks.

The Saudi authorities however are yet to comment on this matter.

On April 21 several media agencies reported heavy gunfire emanating from the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh, prompting speculations about a possible coup attempt taking place.

Saudi authorities claimed that the incident merely involved palace security guards firing upon a drone which allegedly was flying too close to the premises.

A number of local media outlets, however, reported that King Salman himself was evacuated to a nearby military installation during the shooting, with Saudi analyst Ali al-Ahmed naming the [U.S.-protected] King Khaled base as the monarch’s destination.


There was a report of a second assault on the palace on the night after the first attack but professional analysts in the West only discussed reports of the first attack -- at least in their public utterances  See Pundita posts for April 22 and April 23

What I didn't mention in the posts was a rumor from a few months earlier that King Salman was going to step down and MbS would be crowned king on June 4, if I recall the date correctly. It might have been the anonymous Saudi 'whistleblower' that FARS loves to quote who passed along the rumor. 

I remember thinking that if the rumor had credence MbS needed to triple his security detail, even though he'd already gone to extreme lengths to neutralize his opponents in the kingdom. 

We'll see.


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