The meteoric rise of Saudi's powerful Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is now suspected of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Mohammed bin Salman

The Turkish government reportedly told US officials on Thursday that it has audio and video recordings suggesting the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week. 

Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia under self-imposed exile, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkish authorities also believe that Khashoggi was killed on orders from the „highest levels“ of the royal court, but bin Salman told Bloomberg last week that, „We have nothing to hide.“

Few people had heard of bin Salman before his father, Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, became king in 2015.

King Salman, 79, subsequently elevated bin Salman, 33, to crown prince last June. And he has since been widely seen as the driving force behind an anti-corruption purge that has locked up several leading Saudi government and business leaders. 

Here’s the story behind bin Salman’s meteoric rise. 

SEE ALSO: Individuals and businesses are distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was born on August 31, 1985 to King Salman, and Princess Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen, one of Salman’s four wives.

MBS, as the millennial prince is known, was raised in a walled complex the size of a city block in Riyadh with his mother, five brothers and a staff of 50 servants, cooks, drivers and more. His father, who was then the governor of Riyadh, is one of six sons of former Saudi King Abdul-Aziz al Saud. 

In 1932, after a series of civil wars, Abdul-Aziz united the kingdom under the House of Saud, one of the last remaining absolute monarchies. 

MBS would later earn a bachelor’s degree in law at King Saud University, where he was ranked one of the top 10 students. In 2009, after working in several firms and government positions, he was appointed special adviser to his father.

MBS would also found a non-profit group called the MiSK Foundation, which helps Saudi youth develop new businesses. In 2013, Forbes Middle East honored him as „Personality of the Year“ for his work with MisK Foundation. 

Source: Al Jazeera

In January 2015, MBS was appointed Saudi’s defense minister and deputy crown prince by his father, who had just been elevated to King Salman.

One of the new defense minister’s first moves was to crack down on Tehran, launching the Saudi-led coalition against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen through a military campaign known as Operation Decisive Storm.

The war in Yemen has since become one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world, with thousands killed, and millions on the brink of starvation. The Saudi-led coalition has been repeatedly accused of carrying out unlawful airstrikes, while the Houthis have been accused of several human rights abuses as well, including unlawful detentions and using child soldiers. 

Source: BBC

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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