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SnapshotsMar 9, 2020 | 20:06 GMT
The Crown Prince Consolidates Control as Saudi Arabia Faces Trouble Ahead
In a series of arrests of high-profile princes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has once more shown he will brook no royal challengers. Four senior princes -- Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a former crown prince; his brother, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef; Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the 78-year-old brother of King Salman; and Prince Nayef bin Ahmed, Prince Ahmed's son and former head of army intelligence -- were arrested over the weekend by Saudi security forces. Dozens of other lower-level officials were detained as well. Some news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, have reported that some princes may soon be released.
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SnapshotsJan 31, 2019 | 21:02 GMT
Saudi Arabia: Mindful of Its Image, Riyadh Ends a Graft Probe
Saudi Arabia's wide-ranging anti-corruption probe -- an investigation that became synonymous with the suspects' gilded cage, the Riyadh's Ritz Carlton -- is over. On Jan. 30, the Saudi royal court issued a statement declaring an end to the process after summoning 381 people in total. Saudi authorities said they had managed to reach settlements with 87 individuals, adding that cases into 64 others will continue due to other charges unrelated to graft. Altogether, the probe filled the kingdom's coffers, as the state claimed to have recovered 400 billion riyals ($107 billion) from suspects in the form of real estate, companies, cash and other assets. Thanks to the end of the probe and other measures, Saudi Arabia looks like it will present fewer risks to business in 2019, yet the kingdom's core political dynamics, in which the crown prince is able to enact his policy at will, remain unchanged.
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On GeopoliticsNov 8, 2018 | 12:00 GMT
People take part in a candlelight vigil to remember journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 25, 2018.
When Human Rights Become a Handicap to U.S. Foreign Policy
In May 2017 speech in Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was looking for "partners, not perfection." And perhaps no one was listening more intently to that message than an excitable young Saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who was merely days away from kicking his older cousin out of the line of succession while preparing to take the reins of the kingdom.
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ReflectionsOct 9, 2018 | 00:14 GMT
People hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate on Oct. 8 in Istanbul.
How a Saudi Journalist's Disappearance Could Have a Global Impact
Jamal Khashoggi was only going to take care of some routine paperwork. On Oct. 3, the respected Saudi journalist and government critic arrived at his country's consulate in Istanbul to finalize divorce proceedings as his fiancee waited outside. Khashoggi, however, failed to reappear, and three days later, Turkish authorities announced that they had reason to believe a 15-person Saudi security team had tortured, murdered and dismembered the Washington Post journalist. The bombshell has given an unsettling disappearance a drastic, new level of seriousness that is sure to have repercussions across the region.
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On GeopoliticsMar 8, 2018 | 22:20 GMT
A Brazilian anti-corruption protest in Sao Paulo on Dec. 4, 2016.
In a Time of Anti-Corruption Campaigns, Context Matters
While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been shaking down princes at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been riling up protesters with YouTube videos of luxury dachas, and probes into Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht have been knocking down Latin American politicians like bowling pins. Whether driven by appearances, power consolidation or state survival, anti-corruption campaigns are pervading the global discourse.
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SnapshotsJan 15, 2018 | 19:21 GMT
Saudi Arabia: Corruption Crackdown Moves One Prince to a Harsher Prison
Saudi Arabia is taking its anti-corruption crackdown seriously. Saudi billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was transferred to the maximum security al-Ha'ir Prison on Jan. 13, where several al Qaeda and Islamic State suspects are also held. It's a marked change in venue: Bin Talal was previously confined at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Reports have emerged that bin Talal had made a counteroffer of unspecified terms for his release, rumored to involve him offering assets of his choosing. But Saudi Arabia's attorney general turned him down, and now bin Talal will remain in al-Ha'ir until the next round of negotiations. Bin Talal is the highest profile holdout from the initial November crackdown. But recent additions to the ranks of prisoners prove that the Saudi government isn't done targeting its royals as it cracks down on long-practiced corruption and reworks the country's wasta, or social influence networks, in favor of
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 6, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Saudi Defense Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, stands for a photo-op with his counterparts from other countries in Saudi Arabia's Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition at a meeting in Riyadh.
The Rapid Rise of Mohammed bin Salman
The young Saudi crown prince's tough approach and brusque demeanor rub some in and outside the kingdom the wrong way. But the shake-up he's carrying out may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to survive in a new era.
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Contributor PerspectivesNov 15, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, one of the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs and the head of Alwaleed Philanthropies, is among dozens of members of the kingdom's business and political elite accused of corruption.
A Less Charitable Outlook for Saudi Arabia
International investors are wondering what will be the fallout of the corruption accusations against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, one of the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs and a cousin of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company manages more than $12.5 billion in investments across 13 distinct sectors worldwide, according to its website. In addition, the prince, one of Twitter's top five shareholders, invested $300 million in the social media platform in 2011 and holds stakes in Apple Inc., Citigroup Inc. and the Walt Disney Co, as well. But bin Talal, whom Forbes calls one of the world's most intelligent and creative investors, is famous not only for his investments in banking, real estate and media. He is also renowned as a philanthropic mogul, and his arrest sent shock waves through that powerful and prestigious amalgam of public and private sectors.
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AssessmentsApr 7, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Terrorism threat in Indonesia
Indonesia's Sputtering Jihadist Movement Motors On
Governments around the world are grappling with the threat of jihadist violence. And though Indonesia is no stranger to this struggle, its domestic jihadist movement pales in comparison with those in the Middle East or even elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Wahhabism, the hard-line, conservative strain of Islam that underpins extremist groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State, hasn't caught on in the world's most-populous Muslim-majority country, home to more than 250 million people. In fact, Indonesia has contributed only a few hundred fighters to the Islamic State's efforts in Iraq and Syria -- fewer than Russia or France. Nevertheless, the island nation has suffered its share of terrorist attacks over the years. Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group with ties to al Qaeda, staged several devastating attacks across Indonesia throughout the 2000s, including a 2004 bombing at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. A splinter faction carried out similarly deadly strikes
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ReflectionsJan 15, 2016 | 02:48 GMT
The Failure of Jihadism in Southeast Asia
A few Islamist militants in Southeast Asia might rebrand themselves with the Islamic State label, but the type of Islam that took root in the region is not conducive to radical action. Additionally, cultural factors have created a population that finds jihadism unappealing and is far more likely to side with security forces than to provide support or protection for terrorist groups.
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AssessmentsJan 14, 2016 | 05:39 GMT
Terrorism Returns to Indonesia's Capital
Terrorism Returns to Indonesia's Capital
A coordinated attack is believed to be underway in Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta. At least seven explosions were reported in the downtown area along with multiple exchanges of fire. Eyewitness reports and unconfirmed sources indicate that at least one suicide bomber may have been involved. Two of the blast sites were located near a police kiosk and a Starbucks coffee shop in Sarinah Thamrin plaza. The attack was likely timed to hit busy lunchtime traffic and was centered on intersection of Wahid Hasyim street and Medan Merdeka, close to Jakarta's high security area.
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AssessmentsMar 16, 2011 | 18:03 GMT
Jakarta Book Bombs and Militant Decline
Three explosive devices addressed to two moderate Islamic activists and a former counterterrorism officer in Jakarta were discovered in Jakarta March 15. Indonesian jihadist groups are most likely to blame.
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