Inside Story

Is Saudi Arabia’s crown prince consolidating power?

Authorities arrest King Salman’s brother and former crown prince among others in the latest purge.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has had a controversial rise to power, and he appears to be tightening his grip even further.

Media reports suggest at least 20 princes, officials and army officers have been arrested in the kingdom’s latest purge.

They include former Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef and the king’s last surviving full brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz.

The Saudi government has not officially responded to reports that the princes were accused of a coup plot.

In just three years, MBS has silenced nearly all voices of dissent at home, with critics jailed, even killed.

So what are the implications of this crackdown?

Presenter: Jonah Hull


Roxane Farmanfamaian – lecturer on Middle East politics at the University of Cambridge

David Hearst – editor-in-chief of online publication, the Middle East Eye

Ali al-Ahmed – director of the Gulf Affairs Institute and former Saudi political prisoner