Growing princes' revolt could bring down Saudi Arabian king as sons of country's founder believe he is leading it to ruin

  • Anonymous Saudi prince claimed royal family wants to oust King Salman
  • He said royals and Islamic clerics want to replace him with younger brother, Prince Ahmed 
  • They have criticised his decision to wage costly war in Yemen and 'poor handling' of Hajj disaster 
A Saudi prince has claimed the several members of the royal family want to oust the country's ailing ruler King Salman, 79, and replace him with his younger brother, it has been reported.
He is reported to have said the country's influential Islamic clerics - known as the Ulama - would back the attempted coup which has been proposed by eight of the 12 sons of Saudi Arabia's founder, King Ibn Saud.
The prince supposedly said around 75 per cent of the Ulama prefer Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, 73, to his older brother.
A Saudi prince has claimed the several members of the royal family want to oust the country's ailing ruler King Salman (pictured)
A Saudi prince has claimed the several members of the royal family want to oust the country's ailing ruler King Salman (pictured)
The prince, who has not revealed his identity for security reasons, recently published two letters calling for the Saudi royal family to oust the current leadership, the Independent reported. 
He told the Independent: 'Either the King will leave Saudi Arabia... and he will be very respected inside and outside the country.
'Alternatively Prince Ahmed will become Crown Prince, but with control of and responsibility for the whole country – the economy, oil, armed forces, national guard, interior ministry, secret service.'
The prince has claimed the entire country is growing angry with King Salman over the costly war in Yemen and what he referred to as his poor handling of the Hajj disaster in which more than 2,000 people were killed.
King Salman's decision to make his son Mohammed bin Salman, 30, both the Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister - which enables him to launch wars - also caused tension within the country and royal family, it is claimed. 
The prince has claimed the entire country is growing angry with King Salman (pictured) over the costly war in Yemen and what he referred to as his poor handling of the Hajj disaster in which more than 2,000 people were killed
The prince has claimed the entire country is growing angry with King Salman (pictured) over the costly war in Yemen and what he referred to as his poor handling of the Hajj disaster in which more than 2,000 people were killed
The International Monetary Fund has warned the country - whose economy was hit hard by a decline in oil prices - could run out of financial assets in the next five years unless it drastically cuts spending.
The dissident prince said that Prince Ahmed, who could depose Salman, wants to introduce new reforms including 'freedom of thought' and would free political prisoners who were not involved with terrorism.
Clerics are said to favour Prince Ahmed, who has a Master's degree in political science, because of his professional background and 'moderate lifestyle', the prince said.
He said: 'Prince Ahmed likes the desert, hunting and sitting by the Red Sea or in Taif, by the mountains. He is religious but open-minded, he knows English and follows the world news.' 
Lavish spending: King Salman and 1,000-strong entourage in France
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
00:00
Play
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:48
Fullscreen
Need Text