Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Photo by AFP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who became the next in line for the throne by sweeping aside his father’s nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, is now planning to secure his path to power by removing the kingdom’s National Guard Minister Mutaib bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud , according to a new report.

Wary of a possible coup down the road, the 33-year-old prince thinks removing Abdullah and dismantling the powerful national guard allows him to take control over at least 80 percent of the country’s military and security forces, the Lebanese al-Nabaa TV reported Wednesday.

Under the new plan, the national guard would lose its ministerial status and operate instead under the command of the Defense Ministry, which is also headed by Salman.

However, the task only looks easy on paper since the national guard has evolved from a small government entity into an influential organization that specializes in protecting the royal family from internal dangers such as, ironically enough, a coup, the report added.



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