In Jidda, according to the New York Times today. So the story about the now deposed 57-year old former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and former Minister of the Interior, Muhammed bin Nayef (MbN), putting out a video supporting his own removal appears to be phony propaganda. The Saudis instead have been broadcasting a video of the new Crown Prince, 31-year old Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) kissing the hand of (MbN). Presumably he did that back in the day when MbN was the Crown Prince and MbS was his supposed loyal deputy. We have no video of MbN kissing the hand of MbS.
As it is, the story also reports that when MbS’s elevation was announced, MbN returned to his palace to find his guards replaced by ones loyal to his successor. He and his daughters have since been confined to the palace and also forbidden to leave the country, although the latter would seem to be impossible if they cannot leave the palace.
MbN has been replaced as Minister of the Interior by his nephew, Muhammed bin Saud bin Nayef, whose father is governor of the Eastern Province. Reportedly US intelligence officials are “outraged” at this, having worked long and well with MbN, who was reportedly the key figure behind squashing al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, He is viewed by these people as very competent, and his successor has apparently no experience at all in the area. Wonderful. But these people are constrained from speaking openly because of the clear support by President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, of the elevation of MbS, as well as his aggressive warmongering in Yemen, against Qatar, and also against Iran
Of course, we have also seen the spectacle of SecState Rex Tillerson repeatedly making it clear that he at least does not support the diplomatic and economic moves against Qatar. SecDef Mattis has laid lower on the matter, but has also made it clear that the US intends to maintain its major CENTCOM air base in Qatar and is engaging in actions such as selling Qatar fresh fighter jets that go completely against the Saudi-led move that has been pushed by the warmongering and irresponsible new Crown Prince, Muhammed bin Salman, so stupidly supported by our lunatic president.
In any case, the confinement of Muhammed bin Nayef to his palace suggests that not only does he not accept his double demotion, but that King Salman and his pushy but apparently incompetent son are afraid that all this may not go over all that well with other senior members of the royal family, so MbN must be kept out of public attention, although confining him like this might back fire, just as the failed efforts to militarily escalate in Yemen, not to mention to isolate Qatar, appear to be doing.
Oh, King Salman has also now appointed another son, 28-year old Khalid bin Salman, to be ambassador to the US. Let us hope he is not as gonzo off-the-wall as his brother.
Oh, and on the matter of the late Hassa bin Ahmed al-Sudairi, mother of the current king, I have been unable to find when she really died. The source for the Wikipedia entry and pretty much everything else out there readily accessible claim that she died in 1969 is a 2005 article in the Daily Telegraph, with no identified author, on the death of her most powerful son, the late King Fahd. Deep in the article his mother was mentioned, along with the claim she died in 1969. But I know from primary sources that she was alive much later and running the country through her sons, whom she demanded regular meetings with and complete obeisance to her wishes. I checked the authoritative book from 1981 by Robert Lacey, The Kingdom. He reports on how Abdulaziz went for her as a child and first married her when she was 13. She had a son for him, Sa’ad, who died early, after when Abdlulaziz divorced her, so she married his brother, Muhammed. But Abdulazis was in love with her, reportedly beautiful as well as strong-willed, and he later made Muhammed divorce her, although she produced sons for him, and he remarried her, keeping her as a wife until his death. It was during this second marriage that she produced the Sudairi Seven, one of whom, Salman, is now king. Lacey does not report on her having died in his 1981 book.