It didn’t take long before Mohammed bin Salman showed his true colours and initiated a ruthless and relentless campaign to eliminate his rivals and critics, inside the royal court, inside the country, in the region or beyond. The Khashoggi case that sparked international outrage was no aberration but only the tip of the iceberg.
Over the past few years, Bin Salman’s men have made attempts to pave his way to the throne by abducting, arresting, detaining and even killing Saudi citizens who think the young prince is not the best choice as the next king.
Bin Salman’s main targets have turned out to be rights activities, political dissidents, prominent businessmen, and influential royals.
Those languishing behind bars are the luckiest ones in comparison to those already dead or still unaccounted for.
The exact number of the victims is not clear due to the secret nature of the elimination campaign, but a review of the known part of the story would illustrate the gravity of the situation.
In the March palace purge, at least 20 princes were rounded up on Bin Salman's orders. The most prominent ones still in detention are Prince Mohammed Bin Saad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a member of the Bayaa, or Allegiance Council, which decides the succession of the Saudi throne; Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the former crown prince and interior minister; and Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the son of Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's founder and first ruler.