‘Happy birthday MBS’

What the twitter celebration of MBS’ birthday tells us about the transformation of the Saudi regime     The hashtag “birthday of the leader of renewal”[1] has been trending on Saudi twitter since August 31, celebrating the 34th birthday of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. This is highly unusual and also telling of how MBS […]

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AQMI, the Defence Ministry and the Hirak

  In a statement dated July 16 AQMI, denied Defence Ministry claims that five terrorists “who were plotting to target peaceful demonstrations” had been arrested in the eastern wilaya of Batna. Two days earlier the Defence Ministry had announced that the army had arrested five people “who were not on wanted lists” between July 3 […]

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Will God have mercy on Morsi?

  For people on the Salafi-jihadi spectrum the answer is far from obvious, and the debate around it is revealing of some broader trends within the movement.   By Hazem Eseifan and Peter Cross On June 18, the sixth instalment of an occasional series entitled “the Student Asks and the Sheikh Answers” was released in […]

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Is war between the US and Iran likely?

By Hazem Eseifan   A friend asked me last week if I thought war between Iran and the US was likely. “Look,” I replied, “Saudi Arabia and Israel want America to fight Iran on their behalf, and America is looking for someone to fight Iran on its behalf”. Saudi Arabia, already bogged down in Yemen, certainly cannot take […]

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ALGERIA : WHERE IS AQMI?

  On March 27, Algeria’s Ministry of Defence issued a communiqué announcing that an Army detachment, acting in coordination with the police, had broken up a three-man “terrorist cell” in the western city of Oran the previous day, seizing a submachine gun, two hunting rifles, knives, a pair of binoculars and a GPS device in […]

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Saudi Arabia: Business As Usual?

A month and a half after Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, Donald Trump has issued a rare formal statement that attempts, clumsily and mendaciously, to lay his ghost to rest. “The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one […] It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – […]

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Political trends in the Arab World and their impact on investments

  Presentation by Yaqut President Peter Cross to the third annual Arab Mining & Minerals conference and exhibition, London, November 7, 2018   Around a quarter century ago, when I had not long started out in the business of political risk consultancy, I had an interesting conversation with one of our clients, who asked me which […]

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RIP MBS?

As you will surely have heard by now, Muhammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s controversial and energetic Crown Prince, was killed or badly wounded in an attack on the royal palace of Khuzama in Riyadh by a hostile faction of the ruling Al Saud family during the night of April 22. Which is why he has […]

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Saudi Royal Orders: MBS is crown prince

A series of Royal Orders issued on the morning of June 21 appointed King Salman’s influential son Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (MBS) Crown Prince. He hitherto held the position of Deputy Crown Prince – a recent innovation which is now likely to fall into abeyance. The details of the royal orders […]

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