LONDON – A leading member of the Saudi royal family, who had rescued to return to the Kingdom after criticizing the Crown Prince, flew back to Riyadh from London, three saudis near him said Tuesday.
Prince Ahmed’s return bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, is the most important drag of the royal family since the killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi resigned from an international backlash against the Kingdom.
Prince Ahmed had been afraid to return since he published remarks last month that seemed to criticize the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, 33, King’s favorite son and de facto ruler in the Kingdom, said his family members.
On October 2, killed Mr.. Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist, has committed the ruler of the kingdom in their most significant international fears since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when a majority of the attackers were revealed to be Saudi.
It took the reigns of the kingdom more than two weeks after Kashoggi disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to admit that he was assassinated by a team of Saudi agents.
Turkish officials have said they have sound recordings and other evidence that the agents quickly dispelled him with a leg saw to disperse the body, an operation they say could only have been done with permission from the highest levels of the Royal High School.
Saudi officials have portrayed the killing as a villain act, insisting that Crown Prince Mohammed did not order or approve it. Many current and former Western officials with experience in the UK have questioned the reasonableness of that statement, given the prince’s close control of the Kingdom intelligence and security services.
With a cloud now hanging over the crown prince, external observers have been wondering if the royal family can react by circling their wagons around him or by attempting to impose certain controls on his power, perhaps by limiting his role in matters relating to foreign affairs or connections with the West.
Prince Ahmed had repeatedly postponed his return for weeks for fear that he could end up in house arrest as other royalty seen as rivals to the crown prince, people said close to him.
Last month, Prince Ahmed was accosted in London by protesters chanting against the royal family because of Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the three-year civil war in Yemen, which has led to a military death and humanitarian disaster.
“What’s this with Al Saud?” Prince Ahmed said, referring to the royal family as a whole, in comments made on video. “Those responsible are the king and his crown prince.”
“I hope the situation ends,” he added, “whether in Yemen or elsewhere, today before tomorrow.”
Prince Ahmed became an immediate hero to Arab critics of the crown prince around the region. Many sent you loyalty to him on the internet, as if Prince Ahmed was king.
But he quickly showed that he did not intend to beat the crown prince and issue a statement saying that his comments had been mistakenly interpreted.
By Tuesday, Prince Ahmed had remained in London while trying to make sure he would not have any consequences from his mighty nephew if he returned to Riyadh.
It was unclear whether he felt safe to return only because the oldest family members gathered together to deal with the crisis. People who know their travels said that Prince Ahmed landed in Saudi Arabia around 1:30 and that Crown Prince Mohammed welcomed him warmly at the airport.