With a missile attack on the heart of the Saudi capital Riyadh, the arrests of some of the country's most powerful men, and a helicopter crash near the Saudi-Yemeni border, the weekend in the kingdom has been rather eventful, to say the least...
Here is a roundup of all the things that have happened in Saudi Arabia over the past 48 hours:
1. Saudi Arabia announced new anti-terror law
A new anti-terror law was announced in Saudi Arabia that will designate the death penalty for anyone who commits or funds a terror crime that results in the death of an individual.
According to Saudi Gazette, the new law will support sentences of at least 15 years in jail for anyone found guilty of misusing his authority to support terrorism.
A jail term of between 10 and 25 years awaits anyone who sets up a terror entity or holds a leading position within it. Those who incite others to join terror groups, to participate in their activities or to fund them in any way, shape, or form will face up to 25 years in jail.
Providing terrorists with shelter, medical treatment, meeting facilities, or transportation equals up to 20 years in jail, the law said. Additional fines will vary from 3 million Saudi riyals to 10 million Saudi riyals.
2. Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile northeast of the capital Riyadh
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's air defense forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile northeast of the capital Riyadh, according to Al Arabiya.
The missile did not cause any major damage and was destroyed near Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport (RUH).
The spokesman for the coalition forces who are fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen, Colonel Turki al-Maliki, said that at 8:07 p.m. a rocket was fired from within the territory of Yemen towards the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Colonel al-Maliki added that the rocket was aimed at the capital of Riyadh and was launched "indiscriminately and absurdly to target the civilian and populated areas, where it was intercepted and the fragments fell in an uninhabited area east of King Khalid International Airport".
3. Saudi Arabia appointed new ministers for economy and the National Guard
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree appointing new ministers for the National Guard and for economy and planning.
Economy Minister Adel Fakieh was replaced by Mohammad Al Tuwaijri while Khalid Bin Ayyaf replaced Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah as National Guard Minister.
Prince Miteb, the preferred son of the late King Abdullah, was once thought to be a leading contender for the throne before the unexpected rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman two years ago.
He had inherited control of the National Guard, an elite internal security force built out of traditional tribal units, from his father, who ran it for five decades.
Prince Miteb was the last remaining member of the late King Abdullah’s branch of the family to hold a position in the upper ranks of the Saudi power structure.
4. Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption committee arrested princes, businessmen, and ex-ministers
According to the Associated Press (AP), 11 princes, 4 current ministers, several businessmen, and a number of former government ministers were arrested under orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening.
Gulf News reports that a senior Saudi official who declined to be identified under briefing rules said that those detained include:
- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Chairman of Kingdom Holding
- Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, former Minister of the National Guard
- Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former Governor of Riyadh Province
- Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former Chief of the Royal Court
- Adel Fakeih, former Minister of Economy and Planning
- Ibrahim al-Assaf, former Finance Minister
- Abdullah al-Sultan, Commander of the Saudi Navy
- Bakr bin Laden, Chairman of Saudi Binladin Group
- Mohammad al-Tobaishi, former Head of Protocol at the Royal Court
- Amr Al-Dabbagh, former Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
- Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, Owner of TV network MBC
- Khalid A-Mulheim, former Director-General at Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Saoud al-Daweesh, former Chief Executive of Saudi Telecom
- Prince Turki bin Nasser, former Head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment
- Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Saud, former Deputy Defence Minister
- Saleh Kamel, Businessman
- Mohammad al-Amoudi, Businessman
Since the arrests, Saudi authorities have announced that they will be freezing the bank accounts of the detained suspects based on corruption charges.
The Saudi Center for International Communication, an initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Information, said that sums of money that appear to be linked to corruption cases will be reimbursed to the Saudi state’s General Treasury.
WATCH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: "No one is above the law, nor prince or minister."
5. Saudi prince killed in helicopter crash near the border of Yemen
A Saudi prince was killed on Sunday when a helicopter crashed near the kingdom's southern border with war-torn Yemen, according to Arab News.
Arab News stated that the Deputy Governor of Asir province, Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, and seven others were killed in the helicopter crash but did not reveal the cause of the tragic accident. The group was carrying out an aerial inspection of the region when it crashed.
On Monday, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) also confirmed that the wreckage of the plane was found and a search to find any survivors is underway.