Mohammed bin Salman
In 2017 Mohammed was named crown prince, displacing the heir apparent Mohammed bin Nayef. He consolidated his control over Saudi security forces and the government, and was seen as the country's de facto ruler, responsible for leading an economic embargo against Qatar in retaliation for allegedly destabilizing the region and for attempting to force Lebanon's Prime Minister Hariri to resign in order to discredit Hezbollah. He had several hundred wealthy Saudis, including royal family members, detained on corruption charges; many were released after financial settlements totaling billions of dollars. The country also moved increasing harshly against dissidents at home and abroad; the premeditated murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in İstanbul damaged the prince and country's reputation. He later said he took full responsibility for the killing, but denied ordering it; the UN found credible evidence of his involvement.
See B. Hubbard, The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman (2020).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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