Global media widely reported this week the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, known to be a financial supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, was one of a number of prominent Saudis arrested in what has been described as an “anti-corruption” drive. According to a Yahoo news report:
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a prominent member of the country’s royal family and a wealthy investor, has been swept up in connection with a wide-ranging anti-corruption initiative, according to reports.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman removed a host of prominent officials in a sweeping crackdown , in which dozens of princes and former ministers were detained. News outlets, including Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and The Wall Street Journal, reported Bin Talal was among those arrested. CNBC could not immediately confirm Bin Talal’s status.
In addition to Bin Talal, former Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf was also detained and under investigation, Reuters reported, citing a senior Saudi official. If verified, the arrest of Bin Talal would represent a jarring turn of events as the prince has cultivated an image as the de-facto public face of Saudi finance.
It would also be the most dramatic chapter in the evolving narrative of Bin Salman, who has steadily consolidated his authority since his elevation to Defense Minister in early 2015. Considered one of the most prominent members of the Saudi royal family, Bin Talal has been the subject of numerous profiles in U.S. and international publications. He has made numerous appearances on CNBC dispensing investment advice — such as last month, when he predicted bitcoin was little more than a speculative bubble that would soon ‘implode’
The billionaire is an American-educated philanthropist and investor who is heavily invested in U.S. corporate giants like Citigroup (NYSE:C), Apple (AAPL), 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Twitter (TWTR), just to name a few.
Between 1991 and 1995, bin Talal came to the rescue of President Donald Trump , whose real estate empire was under strain. Bin Talal purchased a yacht, and invested in Trump’s Plaza Hotel. In 2015, Bin Talal announced he would donate his entire fortune to help build a ‘better world of tolerance, acceptance, equality and opportunity for all.’
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The GMBDW has been following a series of developments taken lately by the Saudi government against the Global Muslim Brotherhood including the arrest of two prominent clerics linked to the Brotherhood and action to remove the written works of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi from Saudi educational institutions. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region with its support for Islamist groups.
Alwaleed Bin Talal is a Saudi Arabian businessman, investor, and a member of the Saudi royal family. He is the founder, CEO, and 95% owner of the Kingdom Holding Company which describes itself as a diversified investment company, whose main interests are banking / financial services, real estate, hotels, media, entertainment, and internet / technology. In March 2013, Forbes listed Al Waleed as the 26th-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of US $20 Billion. In 2011, Prince Talal bought a $300 million dollar stake in Twitter, the social-media giant and he has partnered with the Bloomberg news service to establish a new Arabic language news channel expected to launch in 2014. Prince Talal is known to have made donations to both the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), both part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. He is also a known to have been a major supporter of the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CCMU), run by long-time apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. John Esposito and the Center is actually known as the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
In 2008 we reported that Prince Talal had made numerous financial contributions to a pan-Islamic interfaith dialog organization that is closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and which has an antisemitic statement posted on its website. Our predecessor publication also reported in 2008 that Prince Talal was one of the sponsors of a conference held by the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP), a new international Islamic philanthropic organization with strong Muslim Brotherhood representation. The GMBDW reported in July 2013 that Prince Talal had met with the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League at the Prince’s offices in Riyadh in order to discuss philanthropic activity. In August 2013, we reported that Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Al-Suwaidan was removed as head of the Al-Resalah TV channel by Prince Talal who said Al-Suwaidan had admitted being a leader in the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood. (For the contradictions in Saudi policy toward the Global Muslim Brotherhood, see today’s post here.)
The GMBDW last reported on Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal in October 2015 when we reported that had doubled his Twitter holdings to become the site’s second largest shareholder.