Type to search


Is MBS About to Lose His Crown? Saudi King Sidelines His Son in Wake of Khashoggi Disappearance

Will the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi bring down Saudi Arabia’s beloved Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

The biggest falls often come from the most unlikely of crises. Just as one fruit-seller in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, brought down Tunisia’s strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Saudi Arabia’s favorite son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS,) could lose his crown over the disappearance and alleged brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


MBS’s fall from grace is no longer conjectural – what experts have whispered in the corridors of power over the past few days is coming to pass. The Crown Prince no longer holds the same reign of power. Authority lies once more with his father, King Salman ibn Saud, so that the Kingdom can find a way to salvage its bruised veneer of respectability.

Amid blood stains and rumors, few among the world elite have shown any inclination to ignore Saudi Arabia’s sullied hands – not this time around anyway. Not when so many voices are clamoring for plausible answers.

Screen Shot 2018 10 19 at 15.32.14

Will Trump Wash Over the Saudi Crisis?

U.S. President Donald Trump’s earliest attempt to float the possibility of a ‘rogue killer’ did not echo well with public opinion. If anything it actually empowered the now adopted narrative that the Trump administration is colluding with Al Saud for financial gain – maybe to Trump’s own admission.

At a campaign rally in 2015 Trump was rather keen to define his relations with Al Saud as pecuniary. He boasted:  “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

USA Today summarised President Trump’s perceived collusion with the Kingdom in the following terms:

“Could it be because as his business empire was hemorrhaging cash, he brokered multimillion dollar deals with Saudi officials — including a $20 million yacht sale to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal? Could it be because the Saudi government bought an entire floor in a Trump-owned building in 2001 for $4.5 million? Could it be because the Saudi crown prince’s five-day stay at the Trump International Hotel in New York earlier this year single-handedly delivered the property its first profitable quarter in two years?”

For all President Trump’s attempted finessing of the Khashoggi’s crisis it simply won’t go away – quite the opposite in fact.

International World Distances Itself From Saudi Arabia

Over the past 48 hours, Saudi Arabia has been shunned by both European capitals and international corporations.

As of October 18, France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands have suspended all official visits to Saudi Arabia. “In the current circumstances we have decided to suspend some visits, political ones,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters in Brussels.

Moreover, several international banking and business chiefs, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Chairman Bill For, have pulled out of a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia this month – signaling not only a loss of trust but increased isolation.

Saudi Arabia is hurting. So much so, that King Salman had to withdraw the running of the affairs of the state from his son, MBS, and delegate the solving of the crisis to his most trusted aide: Prince Khaled al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca.

Reuters quoted a source close to Riyadh as saying that ‘”Since the meeting between Prince Khaled and Erdogan, King Salman has been “asserting himself” in managing the affair, according to a different source, a Saudi businessman who lives abroad but is close to royal circles.”‘

Close members of the Kingdom’s ruling elite have confirmed that royals have grown increasingly wary of MBS’s perceived economic and political recklessness. Many see the Khashoggi case as proof that Saudi Arabia needs to rethink its system of governance – at least insofar as power cannot be concentrated in the hands of just one man, as it has been since 2015.

With more and more calls for accountability and retributions, MBS could soon find himself relegated to a junior position within the royal court, as others will look to expunge his many failures.


Catherine Perez-Shakdam

Catherine is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and a former consultant to the UN Security Council on Yemen. Her work has been published in the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, the Daily Express, Epoch Times and countless other media.

You Might also Like


  1. Alwleedi October 19, 2018

    Very strong leader…made big changes , he has a bright future ahead of him . This will only make him stronger

  2. Gail Ladella October 19, 2018

    What! His son is trying to get rid of the radicals in Saudi Arabia!

  3. Rick Long October 19, 2018

    FSA! We don’t need their oil because we produce more. Don’t need their natural gas, since we produce more. So what do we need them for? If they choose to kill each other? Ok! Let them drink their Oil! Time to move on from petroleum products anyway! Hydrogen engines? Yes! Yes indeed! By product is H2O! Yep! Water! Solar energy? Yes! And what Sweden and other European Nations are doing with refuse! Super combustion steam plants with carbon scrubbers! We can save Mother Earth! But the clock is ticking!

    1. Andy Millar October 19, 2018

      No clock is ticking

  4. Kevin Cahoon October 19, 2018

    Is that what Trump said… Imagine if that happened here… Be prepared…

  5. Moosa ? October 19, 2018

    If #MBS is sidelined all the credit must go to US leadership and Congress and the media. For once ga… https://t.co/hAo2dROzMC

  6. Cheryl Yeager October 19, 2018

    No, it is just a show

  7. Matthew Nichols October 19, 2018


  8. Ross Marquez October 19, 2018


  9. Janice Tuminella Rhodes October 19, 2018


  10. Javier Aguilar Salcedo October 19, 2018

    1 muslim murders another…what’s new???

  11. Felix E Hernandez October 19, 2018

    A filthy assassin.

  12. Doug Bryant October 19, 2018

    Bullshit ,Trumpanzee satisfaction stance ,pay the their money Donny.

  13. William Rowe October 19, 2018

    Once again he has sided with a loser!

  14. Terry Bacot October 20, 2018

    No, he want lose his crown, trump has already for gave him, even made it Khashoggi fault.

  15. Ginny Celano October 25, 2018

    Would never have happened under Obama.

  16. Joe Mauro October 25, 2018

    Disappear quickly.

  17. April Severin October 25, 2018

    He’s behind it he should lose it

  18. Doug Bryant October 25, 2018

    Cut his head off ,what he did to corospondant.

  19. Laeequddin Kazi October 25, 2018

    Crown prince is a reckless brutal guy. It will not be easy for the king to deprive him of his position.

  20. Jeanne Perry October 26, 2018

    About time


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *