According to a new report, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is relying upon “American mercenaries” from Blackwater to serve as the “muscle” in his ongoing purge of princes, ministers, and businessmen.
The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that those who have been collected as part of the crown prince’s “anti-corruption sting” have beeen strung up by their feet and beaten by American private security contractors working for Academi, formerly known as Blackwater. Those who have been arrested have been subjected to “interrogations.”
Among those being subjected to the torture, reportedly, is billionaire venture capitalist Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He was reportedly strung up to “send a message.”
A source told the British newspaper:
"They are beating them, torturing them, slapping them, insulting them. They want to break them down."
Academi states it does not have any assets in Saudi Arabia, and that its employees do not engage in torture, which would be a criminal offense for an American, even if committed on foreign soil. But several Middle Eastern media outlets have been buzzing about “Blackwater mercenaries” seen traveling in Saudi government vehicles during the past three weeks.
Although his moves have been popular with the general population of his country, the prince’s use of foreign fighters strongly suggests his power play is only just beginning, and he has not yet won over a sizable portion of the royal family. It would appear many of the country’s elite are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the dust to settle before picking the winning side.
The crown prince has vowed to make Saudi Arabia a far more moderate Muslim country, as evidenced last month by the decision to allow women to drive.