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Prince Alwaleed, a billionaire investor in Citigroup and Twitter is among those arrested. Prince Alwaleed had a tangle with Trump in 2015.

Alwaleed to Trump

Trump Response

In January of 2016, Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Trolls Trump: ‘I Bailed You Out Twice’.

Massive Purge

Today, the Washington Post reports Crown Prince Gains Power After Sweeping Purge of Saudi Officials.

In one breathtaking stroke, the men were detained by the Saudi authorities in a purge that began Saturday night and swept up some of the most powerful and recognizable names in the country, including members of the Saudi royal family, cabinet ministers, titans of media and industry and former officials. The detainees included Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a wealthy investor who owns major stakes in such companies as Twitter and Citigroup, according to an associate of his family. The detentions come at a time of political, social and economic upheaval in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that has become one of the Trump administration’s closest Middle East allies. The reasons for Alwaleed’s arrest were not immediately clear. The prince, who is the founder of the business conglomerate Kingdom Holding and one of the world’s most prominent investors, had been supportive, at least publicly, of the Saudi leadership, including its controversial intervention in Yemen’s civil war. His detention — along with a number of other business tycoons — suggested that the Saudi leadership was sending a message that something fundamental had changed, Lacroix said. In the past, Saudi Arabia “would allow the existence of powerful people or fiefdoms, as long as they remained loyal in the general sense,” he said. “It’s not about loyalty anymore. Mohammed bin Salman doesn’t want to allow the existence of those fiefdoms.”

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Saudi Purge List

  • Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding
  • Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard
  • Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province
  • Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court
  • Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning
  • Ibrahim al-Assaf, former finance minister
  • Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the Saudi navy
  • Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group
  • Mohammad al-Tobaishi, former head of protocol at the Royal Court
  • Amr al-Dabbagh, former governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
  • Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC
  • Khalid al-Mulheim, former director-general at Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Saoud al-Daweesh , former chief executive of Saudi Telecom
  • Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment
  • Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Saud, former deputy defence minister
  • Saleh Kamel, businessman
  • Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman

Unconnected Events

What's Going On?

  1. This is a traditional move by a corrupt Saudi regime to consolidate power.
  2. This is a genuine reform aimed at tackling corruption.

A reader asked me to comment on what's going on.

Let me put it this way: I will believe number 2 when I see it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock