- Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reportedly hiding his mother from King Salman, her husband.
- The crown prince reportedly has her under house arrest because he was worried she would oppose his power grab.
- Prince Mohammed has skyrocketed to power in just a few years.
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is hiding his mother from King Salman, her husband, 14 current and former senior US officials told NBC News.
Officials believe that the crown prince, known by his initials MBS, “took action against his mother because he was concerned that she opposed his plans for a power grab … and might use her influence with the king to prevent it,” NBC reports. Prince Mohammed reportedly placed his mother, Princess Fahda bint Falah Al Hathleen, under house arrest at a Saudi palace without informing King Salman.
The crown prince has been making up excuses to explain his mother’s absence for years, according to NBC, going back to the Obama administration.
King Salman has allegedly been told on several occasions that his wife is out of the country receiving medical attention. While visiting the White House in 2015, he reportedly told former President Barack Obama that the princess was in New York City, although the US had intelligence that she was not.
Various US intelligence agencies declined to comment for NBC’s report, while Saudi Arabia’s US embassy “denied that the princess is under any kind of house arrest or separation from her husband.”
Prince Mohammed skyrocketed to power in the Middle Eastern kingdom in just a few years. At 32 years old, the crown prince formally took the title from his cousin in 2017, after serving as the kingdom’s deputy crown prince and defence minister.
He is also widely seen to be behind the anti-corruption crackdown that took place in November and ended with the jailing of some of Saudi Arabia’s richest and most powerful leaders.
Prince Mohammed is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump later this month.