Saudi Arabia Releases Video To Quell Crown Prince Assassination Rumors

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Mohammad Bin Salman has not been seen in public since gun fire was reported near the royal palace. Iranian media claims the crown prince is no more.

Mohammed bin Salman

A video footage released by Saudi Arabia shows Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, chairing a Council of Economic Affairs and Development meeting in Jeddah. The conservative kingdom provided the video to clarify rumors about their leader’s death.

In April, there were reports of gunfire near the royal palace. According to state-run media, a recreational drone was discovered in the area, prompting security personnel to shoot it down.  However, no casualties were reported.

Ever since the alleged shooting, the “reformist” crown prince hasn’t been seen on any public platform.

His more than a month-long absence from the world’s stage led to speculations about his well-being. An Iranian news paper claimed the attack was a possible coup attempt and asserted MBS had been assassinated.

"At least two bullets have hit bin Salman in April 21 clashes in Riyadh and it is even possible that he is dead," wrote Iran's Kayhan newspaper. "There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the absence of nearly 30 days of Muhammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is due to an incident which is being hidden from the public.”

This news spread across the globe like wildfire, prompting Saudi authorities to release footage of the crown prince purportedly attending a meeting, along with some of his pictures.

 

There’s just one problem.

The video and images don’t have any dates or time stamps on them and CNN also couldn’t verify the time of the video it obtained.

An anonymous blogger, who goes by the name Mujtahidd, tweeted a day after the shooting incident claiming the palace was attacked by armed vehicles.

 

MBS was also nowhere to be seen during the high profile visit of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that took place at the end of April.

This leads to some pertinent questions – firstly is Saudi Arabia trying to hide something from the world? Secondly, was MBS actually injured in the alleged coup attempt and the kingdom is embarrassed that its longtime rival, Iran, had the power to hurt the crown prince?

If MBS is fine and active as claimed by the Saudi media, they need to debunk the news of his death with something more than an undated video or picture of the crown prince.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Amir Levy

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