Amid international uproar over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, some members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are agitating to prevent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from becoming king, three sources close to the royal court said.
Dozens of princes and cousins from powerful branches of the Al Saud family want to see a change in the line of succession but would not act while King Salman - the crown prince's 82-year-old father - is still alive, the sources said. They recognize that the king is unlikely to turn against his favorite son, known in the West as MbS.
Rather, they are discussing the possibility with other family members that after the king's death, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, 76, a younger full brother of King Salman and uncle of the crown prince, could take the throne, according to the sources.
Prince Ahmed, King Salman's only surviving full brother, would have the support of family members, the security apparatus and some Western powers, one of the Saudi sources said.
Prince Ahmed returned to Riyadh in October after 2-1/2 months abroad. During the trip, he appeared to criticize the Saudi leadership while responding to protesters outside a London residence chanting for the downfall of the Al Saud dynasty. He was one of only three people on the Allegiance Council, made up of the ruling family's senior members, who opposed MbS becoming crown prince in 2017, two Saudi sources said at the time.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration's continued support of Saudi Arabia has been denounced by several U.S. Senators [cbsnews.com]:
The White House's pledge [cbsnews.com] to maintain its strong military and economic alliance with Saudi Arabia amid reports [cbsnews.com] that U.S. intelligence has assessed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has ignited a flurry of bipartisan condemnation in Washington.
After President Trump issued a remarkable statement on Tuesday in which he acknowledged that the heir apparent to the Saudi throne may have known about the "tragic event," but that his administration nevertheless "intended to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia," several Republican and Democratic members of Congress denounced the White House's position.
Previously: Turkey Says that a Missing Critic of the Saudi Government was Killed in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul [soylentnews.org]
Saudi Arabia Reportedly Prepared to Admit Involvement in Journalist's Death [soylentnews.org]
CIA Concludes That Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Killed [soylentnews.org]