Saudi Succession

Cartoon by Jeff Danziger

Fnancial Times: Saudi security officers, their faces hidden by balaclavas, conducted the raids in the middle of the night, arresting dozens of people and confiscating books and laptops.

The operations were conducted last week as if the security forces were hunting militants. But instead the targets were clerics, academics and businessmen rounded up in what activists say is the biggest crackdown on dissent in the kingdom since the 2011 Arab uprisings...

In July, Prince Mohammed, 32, set up a new security department, the Presidency of State Security, in what analysts interpreted as a move to concentrate his powers. Now speculation is mounting that the crown prince is preparing to assume the throne from his ailing father this year or next. Saudi officials have dismissed suggestions of an imminent abdication by King Salman.

Against this backdrop, the crackdown has focused on anyone who might be willing to speak out against government policy. And it comes as Prince Mohammed grapples with domestic and foreign challenges >>>

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