The Missing Crown Prince MBS of Saudi Arabia

By Maryam Iraj

Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, famously known by the acronym MBS, disappeared from the scene for more than a month now after an attempted coup last month.

According to media reports, “Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was allegedly hit by two bullets during the April 21 attack on the royal palace in Riyadh.” Chances are high that he may actually be dead as, contrary to the  common practice, he has not appeared in public since the incident, Kayhan newspaper reports citing “a secret service report sent to the senior officials of an unnamed Arab state.”

His disappearance has raised many questions about his health and life. According to international media, Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a dynamic personality and often appears on the media. Last month, the alleged attack on the royal palace left the Prince injured with two shots. There are rumors that this attack might have cost him his life. Saudi officials have kept quiet on this matter and the news has not being confirmed or denied except for a recent tweet by his personal secretary showing Prince MBS with his friends in a picture.

Strangely enough, Prince MBS missed the US Secretary, Mike Pompeo’s maiden visit , and preferred to enjoy with his friend, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Siisi a few days ago. Neither this move is logical nor diplomatic. 

The news became viral when the former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompio, made his first visit to Saudi Arabia but Prince Mohammad Bin Salman was not seen on the occasion. Keeping in view of the Saudi fondness of America, it was widely regarded as a very unusual and unexplained absence by MBS.

Due to the long absence of Mohammad Bin Salman who has been very vocal and upfront, the media has been creating different rumors, it is also likely to show that there is an ongoing rift in the royal family. Since his ascension to the power, Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been on ruckus ride to overhaul the conservative structure of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Late last year, 2017, Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, was arrested alongside at least 10 other princes and several government ministers and former ministers on the charges of corruption. These charges were framed by an investigation committee setup by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Such a zealous sweep, rapid rise and consolidation of power, had raised many eyebrows in the kingdom and around the world.

One of the world’s richest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was detained by Prince MBS under the corruption charges showed his anger in public for a face-off with him.

Steps taken by the Prince Mohammed bin Salman have not been liked by many. Hence, he has been facing both internal and external rebellion off and on.

Author can be followed on Twitter at m_r_a_.