Saudi Arabia Makes Security A Top Priority

By Andrew Barber

Saudi King Salman has removed his half-brother of the title of crown prince in favor of his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, 55 and bestowing the title of deputy crown prince to his nephew, Mohammed bin Salman, who sources say is around 30 years old. The move, which makes the king’s nephew heir apparent to the throne, comes on the same day as news of arrests of more than 90 suspected Islamic State, or ISIS, operatives within Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, has an international reputation as an antiterrorism czar, having survived an assassination attempt by al-Qaeda members in 2009. The new deputy crown prince is also the Saudi defense minister. The king also appointed Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to the U.S., as foreign minister, replacing royal family member Prince Saud al-Faisal, 75, who has been abroad seeking medical treatment. With a crisis in Yemen to the south and ISIS to the northeast, from the cabinet shakeup, it appears that the world’s largest oil exporter and OPEC stalwart is now making security a top priority.