It appears increasingly likely that Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was detained and killed at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. There is still much that we don’t know, but if such an audacious act was carried out, it almost certainly would have required the approval of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Since the passing of King Abdullah in 2015 and the ascension of Mohammed’s father, King Salman, to the throne, the crown prince has been on a relentless march to consolidate political power. He has used his royal standing as the king’s favored son to outmaneuver, sideline and effectively neuter both royal and nonroyal obstacles in his path. Taking advantage of his father’s diminished mental acuity, Mohammed gained the king’s acquiescence to push his uncle, Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, and his older and more senior cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, off the crown prince perch in short succession, grabbing for himself the role of day-to-day decision-maker in Riyadh.
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