‘The Godfather, Saudi-style’: inside the palace coup that brought MBS to power. And another ‘coup’ that will attempt to replace him. ‘The beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.’

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.

Revelation 13:12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Revelation 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Commentary; the rider is the ‘beast’ or ‘antichrist’. His being clothed in white suggests ‘3’ false righteousness, false peace and false authority. He has a bow, but no arrows. He rules with lies and threats, but no military or arms. He conquers and subjugates, not with force but with ‘5’ lies, deception, false covenants and false agreements and false promises. He is the world’s greatest ‘political’ leader and deceiver. He is the one who ‘confirms the false covenant of seven years with Jacob’ which starts the tribulation. You should know now of who I speak. His ‘crown’ represents authority, rulership and position. It even literally represents his ‘position’ as Crown Prince, once the tribulation begins. My discernment is that the ‘white horse upon which he sits’ is symbolically a white Arabian stallion.

‘The Godfather, Saudi-style’: inside the palace coup that brought MBS to power. And another ‘coup’ that will attempt to replace him. ‘The beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.’

Not long ago, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, was all set to assume power. But his ambitious young cousin had a ruthless plan to seize control for himself

by Anuj Chopra Tue 29 Nov 2022 01.00 EST The Guardian

The Saudi prince was detained all night. As daylight broke, he staggered out of the king’s palace in Mecca. His personal bodyguards, who tailed him everywhere, were missing. The prince was led to a waiting car. He was free to leave – but he would soon discover that freedom was not very different from detention.

As his car pulled out of the palace gates, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef fired off a series of panicked text messages.

“Be very careful! Don’t come back!” he wrote to his most trusted adviser, who had quietly slipped out of the kingdom just weeks earlier.

When Nayef reached his own palace in the coastal city of Jeddah a few hours later, he found new guards manning the property. It was obvious that he was being put under house arrest.

“May God help us, doctor. The important thing is that you must be careful, and under no circumstances should you come back,” he wrote to the adviser.

The previous night, 20 June 2017, Nayef, the king’s nephew, had been forced to step down as heir to the Saudi throne in an episode that one royal insider described to me as “Godfather, Saudi-style”. Nayef, who oversaw domestic security, was the CIA’s closest Saudi ally. Earlier that year, the then-CIA director Mike Pompeo had awarded him a medal in recognition of his counter-terrorism efforts that saved American lives. Two years before, after King Salman commenced his reign, Nayef had been made crown prince at the age of 55, putting him next in line to the throne. But simmering behind the scenes was a vicious rivalry between Nayef and his upstart cousin, the king’s son, Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he is known, who rose from obscurity to become deputy crown prince.

Shortly before the palace coup, on 5 June 2017, tensions between the princes reached boiling point after MBS and other regional autocrats imposed a punishing blockade on neighbouring Qatar. The tiny, gas-rich emirate has long rankled its bigger Arab neighbours with its provocative moves, such as giving airtime to regional Islamists and dissidents on its influential news channel Al Jazeera. Nayef, too, had issues with Qatar, but he preferred quiet diplomacy over MBS’s combative approach. Behind his cousin’s back, Nayef opened a secret channel with Qatar’s ruler Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. “Tamim called me today, but I did not answer,” Nayef texted his adviser at the peak of the crisis. “I want to send him an encrypted phone for communication.”

On 20 June 2017, in the midst of that crisis, Nayef was called for a meeting in King Salman’s palace in Mecca – a marble-walled colossus overlooking the cube-shaped Ka’bah, the holiest shrine in Islam. According to sources close to Nayef, when he arrived, his security detail was instructed to wait outside. To prevent any leaks, all mobile phones, including those of the palace staff, were seized by guards loyal to MBS. One senior member of the royal family, who tried to enter the palace after Nayef, was turned away at the gates. The prince was allegedly ushered into a room with Turki al-Sheikh, a close MBS confidante with a gruff, intimidating manner and a predilection for expensive Richard Mille watches. (Sheikh would later be promoted to head the General Entertainment Authority – an agency that seeks to soften Saudi Arabia’s image by, among other things, hosting giant raves in the desert.)

Sheikh allegedly confined Nayef to the room for hours, pressuring him to sign a resignation letter and pledge allegiance to MBS. At first, Nayef refused. According to one source close to the prince, he was told that if he did not give up his claim to the throne, his female family members would be raped. Nayef’s medication for hypertension and diabetes was withheld, and he was told that if he did not step down willingly, his next destination would be the hospital. He was so afraid of being poisoned that night, said another royal family source, that he refused to drink even water.

Nayef was permitted to speak with two princes in the Allegiance Council, the royal body that ratifies the line of succession. He was shocked to hear that they had already submitted to MBS. By daybreak, it was all over. Anxious and exhausted, Nayef surrendered. He was made to step into an adjoining room, where MBS was waiting with television cameras and a guard carrying a gun. Footage released by Saudi broadcasters showed a brief glimpse of Sheikh hurriedly slipping a gold-trimmed robe on the back of the detained prince. As the cameras rolled, MBS crept closer to his cousin and theatrically stooped down to kiss his hand and knee.

“When I pledged allegiance, there was a gun to my back,” Nayef later wrote in a text to his adviser.

In the days that followed, posters of Nayef were removed from public buildings. MBS was now first in line to the throne, and effectively the most powerful man in the country at the age of 31. The octogenarian king remained head of state, but MBS became the day-to-day ruler, with absolute control over all levers of Saudi security, economy and oil. Nayef, the darling of US intelligence, who had assumed he would be the next ruler of Saudi Arabia, was now a prisoner. But for him, worse was to come.

The palace coup, and the power plays that led to it, were largely obscured from public view at the time, with only scraps of information – and dollops of propaganda – leaking out to the press. International media, for example, was fed what Nayef’s associates call spurious claims that he had been pushed aside in the national interest because he was incapacitated by morphine and cocaine addiction. Getting at the truth is especially hard in a country where the surveillance state is so powerful that some Saudis place their phones in the refrigerator while discussing sensitive matters. The Saudi embassies in London and Washington did not respond to requests for comment for this article. But a detailed account of the events of 2017, and its shocking aftermath, is now possible, thanks to a drip-feed of palace secrets by a few senior royals and other well-connected sources who have been stripped of their influence and wealth in the age of MBS and, in the worst cases, imprisoned and tortured.

Key among those sources is a man named Saad Aljabri, Nayef’s closest adviser and intelligence chief. It was Aljabri whom Nayef texted immediately after he was released from the king’s palace, after the coup. Aljabri, 63, had long operated in the shadows and many who worked with him considered him the most powerful non-royal in Saudi Arabia. One former American official who worked with Aljabri for years described him to me as the “deep state liaison” between Saudi Arabia and western powers. In the years after 9/11, Aljabri had been promoted through the ranks of the interior ministry, eventually becoming head of counter-terrorism operations. Together, Aljabri and his patron, Nayef, modernised the kingdom’s security and surveillance apparatus. They have also been accused of targeting peaceful activists under the pretext of counter-terrorism and laying the foundations of the police state that MBS would later turn against them.

The text messages between Nayef and Aljabri first came to light through legal filings in North America and an Interpol ruling that rejected a Saudi request to have Aljabri arrested overseas. The messages in those documents were authenticated by a digital forensics expert hired by Norton Rose Fulbright, the international law firm representing Aljabri, which is in possession of his iPhone, according to court affidavits. Aljabri’s team separately shared with me a handful of messages that have never previously been published.

For decades, the throne had passed laterally between the sons of Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state, ensuring a delicate power balance between the various branches of the vast royal family. Nayef’s succession would have seen the crown passing to the generation below for the first time, but still to a different branch of the family, maintaining that delicate balance. But then came the palace coup – which not only shoved aside MBS’s main rival, but also destroyed the old succession model that prized seniority and consensus within the family, by setting up the passing of power directly from father to son within one branch of the family. It enabled MBS to amass more power than any previous ruler.

The coup was the culmination of months of animus between MBS and Nayef. One of the major points of conflict was their competition to win favour with the new administration of President Donald Trump. People close to Nayef say he was secretly listening in on MBS’s calls with aides and allies such as Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser. The snooping helped him track MBS’s manoeuvres in Washington. The transcript of one intercepted call in the spring of 2017, which Nayef showed to Aljabri, suggested that MBS had been discussing the royal succession with Kushner. In that call, MBS told Kushner that he had cultivated close relationships with all US agencies “except three”. When Aljabri saw the transcript, he took the three agencies to mean the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency – institutions that had long favoured Nayef. To him and his patron, it was clear that MBS was trying to consolidate American support for his succession.

In May 2017, Nayef attempted to make his own inroads into the Trump White House. He hired the Sonoran Policy Group, a lobbying firm in Washington with close ties to Trump’s team. Sonoran – which has since been renamed Stryk Global Diplomacy after its chairman, the lobbyist Robert Stryk – was hired to provide Nayef’s interior ministry “broad advisory services” in Washington. Nayef, people close to him said, understood that his past record did not count for much with a brash, unconventional president who would go on to have a strained relationship with the US intelligence community. Nayef wanted to impress on the new president that he was not just a longstanding partner, but a more valuable one than his cousin. Aljabri was directly involved in negotiating the $5.4m lobbying contract on behalf of the ministry.

As news of the contract spread, Aljabri feared being caught between the warring princes. In May 2017, he quietly slipped away to Turkey, just days before Trump was due to visit Riyadh. Aljabri’s fears were well founded. Soon after he left, Aljabri said he got word that the main signatory of the contract – a secret service officer under Nayef – was detained by MBS loyalists and interrogated about the lobbying effort. On 4 June 2017, Aljabri texted Abdulaziz Howairini, a veteran security official, to ask whether he should continue “fasting in the cold”, a coded reference to remaining in Turkey. Howairini, who now reports to MBS, replied that he should. On 17 June, Howairini sent another text to Aljabri, warning him that the MBS loyalists were “very eager” to detain him as well. Meanwhile, furious pushback from MBS compelled Nayef to cancel the Stryk contract. According to Aljabri, Nayef warned him that MBS had seen the contract as a plot to torpedo his relationship with the Trump family and was out for blood.

On 18 June, Aljabri received an abrupt text from MBS, asking him to return to Saudi Arabia to help resolve unspecified “conflicts” with Nayef. “I don’t think there’s anyone who understands [Nayef] better than you,” MBS wrote, his tone unusually conciliatory. There had been bad blood between MBS and Aljabri since 2015, when King Salman, apparently at the prince’s urging, fired Aljabri from his position for secretly meeting the then-CIA director John Brennan and then-British foreign secretary Philip Hammond without reporting the meetings to the monarch. However, Aljabri had continued working with Nayef informally, viewing his dismissal as one of MBS’s numerous attempts to weaken his patron. “Let us forget about the past,” MBS now insisted. “Are we children today? Forgive me and exonerate me before God. When are you coming back?” Aljabri replied that he needed to be away for medical treatment.

Two days later, MBS launched the coup.

In the months after the coup, Aljabri continued to hunker down in Turkey. His immediate family was with him, except for two of his children who, on the day of the coup, had been prevented from boarding a flight in Riyadh. He secretly kept in contact with Nayef, whose movements were constrained. Meanwhile, MBS moved swiftly to tighten his grip on the security services, including the interior ministry, which was stripped of Nayef loyalists and key functions such as counter-terrorism. MBS came down heavily on any hint of public dissent. In his first major clampdown after the coup, influential clerics and intellectuals with huge social media followings were arrested in September 2017.

That same month, Aljabri pleaded with MBS to allow his children to leave Saudi Arabia. But MBS insisted that Aljabri first return to discuss a “very sensitive file” related to Nayef. “Doctor, where should we dispatch the airplane to fetch you?” asked MBS in a text message. Aljabri had no intention of returning, but also sought to convince MBS that he posed no threat. In messages filled with obsequious platitudes, Aljabri pledged loyalty to MBS.

“I possess lots of sensitive state information, but despite that I have never leaked anything to anyone,” Aljabri wrote. Rattling off examples of his loyalty, he wrote that he had publicly refuted the claims of “Mujtahid” – an anonymous royal whistleblower on Twitter who has long been a thorn in the side of the Saudi royal family. “What destiny awaits me were I to return [to Saudi]? Isn’t it better for me to remain outside the kingdom, where I remain faithful to your rule, refuse to say anything that would be harmful … and cooperate with Your Highness in everything that serves a common good?”

MBS was unmoved. He texted Aljabri that he would pursue him “using all available means”. The threat prompted Aljabri to flee from Turkey to Canada later that month. In late 2017, Saudi Arabia tried to have Aljabri arrested through Interpol, alleging that he had stolen state funds worth billions, and pressed Canada to hand him over. Both efforts failed. Then, in October 2018, according to Aljabri, he received a warning from spies in a Middle Eastern country, who told him that he was an assassination target and urged him to stay away from Saudi embassies and consulates. (Aljabri requested the country’s name be withheld for fear of Saudi retribution.) That same month, Canadian border agents are thought to have intercepted and deported members of the Tiger Squad, a team of Saudi-sponsored hitmen, as they tried to enter the country on tourist visas. Riyadh denied any involvement but the alleged plot, implicitly acknowledged by Canadian authorities, bore chilling similarities to the way the Tiger Squad murdered the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the same month inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey.

To the Americans who had worked with Aljabri, it was obvious that MBS saw him as a threat. Aljabri fleeing the kingdom was “like J Edgar Hoover’s deputy leaving DC and showing up in Moscow”, said the former US official who had worked with him. “Here’s a man liked by deep state organisations around the planet. He knows every foible, every misstep that Saudi royals have made.”

On a crisp winter morning last year, I was invited to a five-star hotel in Washington DC to meet Aljabri. He had travelled from Toronto to visit his son Khalid, a cardiologist and an informal spokesman for his reclusive father. When I arrived in the hotel lobby, my phone jangled with an unexpected message: “Let’s meet outside of the hotel.” Minutes later, a man appeared and whisked me to another high-rise in the area. Parked outside the residential tower, home to some of DC’s political elite, was an SUV marked “US Secret Service”.

In an enclosed patio on the rooftop was Aljabri, dressed in a dark suit and wire-rimmed glasses. He was sitting on a couch, gazing at the view of downtown Washington. A wall-mounted fireplace radiated warmth and in the background, the faint warble of a grand piano could be heard. As I arrived, Aljabri stood up, Starbucks coffee in hand, and began by pointing out the landmarks: the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House.

During the Trump presidency, Aljabri had avoided Washington DC, he said. He has plenty of influential friends here, including senators on both sides of the aisle and security officials. Even so, he was wary of the long arm of the Saudi state, and Trump’s warm relationship with MBS had made him even more wary.

As we spoke, Aljabri, who holds a doctorate in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, mused about how different his life’s trajectory might have been had he not met Nayef. Aljabri began his career at the interior ministry in the 1990s. He once tried quitting for a job at Aramco, the state oil giant that is the biggest cash cow for the kingdom. Nayef stopped him. Now their destinies seem braided together.

Since the coup, about 40 of Aljabri’s family members and close associates have been detained in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to coerce him into returning. His voice cracked as he pulled up photos on his phone of his incarcerated children, Sarah and Omar, now 22 and 24 respectively. They were arrested in March 2020, and convicted, in a closed trial, of money laundering and attempting to escape Saudi Arabia unlawfully. Aljabri’s son-in-law is also in detention. Aljabri said that if there were ever a chance for an exchange on a bridge – MBS on one end with his family, Aljabri on the other – he would do the trade in a heartbeat. “Take your ransom, release the hostages,” he said, imagining the scene. But he knows that is wishful thinking.

In August 2020, after his children were jailed, Aljabri filed an explosive lawsuit in Washington, going public with his claim that MBS sent a death squad after him. (The judge would later remark that the lawsuit read like “the stuff of a Tom Clancy novel”.) Aljabri knows he cannot win against a powerful dictator, but the action could at the very least be what one of his associates described as a “pebble in MBS’s shoe”. In early 2021, the lawsuit triggered what Aljabri saw as retaliatory lawsuits in Boston and Ontario, filed by 10 Saudi state-linked firms initially established by Nayef to provide cover for US-Saudi operations and now controlled by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, of which MBS is the chairman. These companies accused Aljabri and his associates of defrauding them of $3.5bn. Aljabri denied any wrongdoing and said defending himself would require revealing the operations and finances of the companies, which were murky by design to support covert activities.

Court documents filed in Boston by the US Justice Department suggest US officials were keen for an out-of-court settlement between Aljabri and MBS, apparently to prevent any public revelations about undercover American operations. But those efforts went nowhere. One US official, previously posted in the American mission in Riyadh, told me that the Saudis were not interested in settling because they are “not convinced Aljabri will remain silent”. In February this year, Aljabri made a new offer to MBS. In a letter to a senior royal court adviser, Aljabri offered a “financial and legal resolution”. (Aljabri’s team refused to discuss the specifics of the offer with me.) They sent the White House a memo requesting US officials to “urge the Saudi leadership to accept the restitution offer”. It was met with silence from MBS.

MBS’s supporters say Aljabri’s eagerness for a financial settlement is tacit admission of his guilt. Aljabri’s team say that MBS’s unwillingness to settle proves that corruption is just a pretext to pursue a political opponent. Meanwhile, the legal battle drags on. In September, the Washington court dismissed Aljabri’s lawsuit against MBS, citing lack of personal jurisdiction. (Aljabri’s team are appealing against the decision.) Late last year, the Boston court threw out the lawsuit against Aljabri after the US government invoked the “state secrets privilege” to halt the disclosure of classified national security information. (The companies are fighting back.) But those secrets are still at risk of exposure in an Ontario court. Court filings from earlier this year show lawyers for the US government are working with their Canadian counterparts to prevent that outcome.

But even if the lawsuits against Aljabri proceed, it could prove tricky to prove the corruption allegations conclusively. That’s because a key witness, the man who oversaw counter-terrorism spending, has disappeared: Nayef.

In late 2017, the conditions of Nayef’s house arrest were relaxed, but he was still barred from travelling outside the kingdom. Aljabri told me that Nayef had initially believed the worst that would happen to him was losing his official titles and receiving a handsome financial compensation in return. He expected to be treated the same way as his predecessor Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former head of intelligence who was dismissed as crown prince in 2015. After King Salman fired him, according to a well-placed source, Prince Muqrin was lavished with farewell gifts, including a royal payout of about $800m, and the luxury yacht Solandge.

By contrast, a large chunk of Nayef’s wealth was seized. On 10 December 2017, Nayef sent a letter to HSBC in Geneva asking that his “EUR, GBP, and USD balances” be transferred to a Saudi bank account. A source with knowledge of Nayef’s assets said his bankers and lawyers in Geneva ignored such requests, suspecting that the prince was acting under duress. (HSBC declined to comment when asked how it responded to the letter. The bank requested withholding the name of the official addressed in the letter, citing safety concerns.)

The total value of Nayef’s overseas holdings is unclear. The prince’s associates say he owns prime real estate worth billions in Europe and the US. Nonetheless, what is certain is that Nayef had to surrender a substantial part of his domestic assets. The source with knowledge of these, who is based in Europe, provided a table with a breakdown of his “confiscated” companies and bank accounts – the total amount was $5.22bn. A separate source close to the prince shared what appeared to be a slightly less up-to-date spreadsheet with a similar breakdown. The “total value” confiscated, it said, was 17.8bn riyals, or $4.75bn.

In 2018 and 2019, Nayef enjoyed relative freedom, even though he wasn’t allowed to leave the kingdom. His favourite activity, falconry in Algeria’s deserts, was out of the question, but he was allowed to go hunting inside Saudi Arabia. He showed up at royal weddings and funerals. One video that surfaced in late 2019 showed a group of supporters taking selfies with the prince and kissing his hand.

Then, in March 2020, suddenly things got decidedly worse for Nayef. The government raided his desert retreat on the outskirts of Riyadh, and he was taken into detention. Several staff were also detained, the Europe-based source said. Nayef was kept in solitary confinement for more than six months. During that time, “he was seriously mistreated”, the source said. He alleged that Nayef was strung up his ankles and tortured. “As a consequence, he now has long-lasting damage to his lower legs and ankles, making walking painful. He lost a significant amount of weight.”

Towards the end of 2020, according to the Europe-based source, Nayef was moved to a compound in the Yamamah palace complex in Riyadh, the king’s official residence and main seat of the Saudi government. He is not allowed outside his small unit and he is filmed and recorded at all times, the source said. He is not allowed visitors, except certain family members on rare occasions, nor can he see his personal doctor or legal representatives. He has been made to sign documents without reading them.

In the spring of 2021, Nayef’s bankers and lawyers in Europe received new wealth transfer requests. They included a phone call from Nayef to his lawyer in Switzerland, according to a source privy to the discussion. The lawyer, to whom Nayef had previously granted power of attorney, refused, as he believed his client was under duress. The prince invited the lawyer to visit Saudi Arabia and verify for himself. Nayef “kept saying ‘I’m free, we’ll go out for dinner when you come to Riyadh’”, the source said. The lawyer insisted that Nayef needed to travel to Switzerland with his family to authorise the transfer in person.

When reached by telephone, the lawyer told me that he could neither deny nor confirm the conversation, expressing concern about the potential repercussions of media engagement for his client. “The main reason that Nayef is being held is that the crown prince wrongly believes that he is a threat to the succession,” the Europe-based source said. “In also going after his money, MBS is attempting to humiliate Nayef so there is absolutely no threat of anyone seeing the former crown prince as a viable alternative.”

In a marble-bedecked luxury hotel in the heart of Riyadh, I met one of MBS’s most prominent spin doctors. Sitting next to him in the cafe was a senior royal court official, who stayed for part of the meeting. From our previous encounters, it was clear the spin doctor was part of a state-sponsored campaign to project MBS in the west as a visionary, boldly pushing through social reforms. He had wanted to talk about how the prince had lifted decades-old bans on women drivers and cinemas, allowed once-forbidden music concerts and curbed the power of the religious police who staunchly opposed mixing of the sexes. “MBS has balls,” he once told me.

This time, an evening in March 2020, the spin doctor, hunched over a cup of coffee and a plate of crepes slathered with Nutella, wanted to set the record straight on Nayef’s recent disappearance. The Saudi government had offered no comment on why Nayef had been detained, along with another senior royal seen as a rival to MBS, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz. This meeting was the closest I would get to an official explanation.

The spin doctor sought to dismiss a narrative playing out in the foreign media that the princes had been detained because the authorities believed they were plotting to unseat MBS and his father. MBS, he said, remained “in control” and the detentions were carried out “after an accumulation of negative behaviour by the two princes”. The sudden purge was meant to enforce “discipline” within the royal family. He did not elaborate on the nature of the “negative behaviour”, but said that the princes could be released soon.

Nearly three years later, the princes are still in detention. “Both the Biden and the Trump administrations called for release of Mohammed bin Nayef … at the top of their talking points when engaging privately with Saudi leadership,” Kirsten Fontenrose, who briefly oversaw Gulf policy for the Trump administration, told the US House foreign affairs committee last year. “Mohammed bin Salman has been unmoved.”

There are now no visible rivals left to the throne. MBS’s power appears absolute. On his current trajectory, there is nothing to stop him from succeeding his father as king. The global outcry over Khashoggi’s murder, the ruinous Saudi-led war in Yemen and growing repression at home – nothing seems to have shaken his hold on the country. Despite the reputational risks of doing business with a dictator, Wall Street executives are eager to strike deals with the rich petro-state. Activists fear a recent US decision to grant him sovereign immunity in a case concerning Khashoggi’s murder could further embolden him to go after critics.

A royal family source, who privately denounced Nayef’s treatment but has remained silent in public to avoid retribution, told me that he would not be surprised if Nayef were to suddenly make an appearance in public someday alongside MBS, giving his blessing to the man who crushed him. Similar to the staged video after the 2017 coup, that would be another defining image of the age of MBS – and his violent rise to power.

 ‘7’ Paul Rolland, Night Watchman, Night Watchman Ministries:

‘7’ The ‘Stage’ for the Antichrist, ‘First Horseman’ is set.

America Divided and ‘7’ No Mention of It In The Bible.  ‘7’ Western hegemony is coming to an end, and the world is ‘7’ about to enter a very dangerous period. For 500 Years, the world has ‘7’ been run from Europe or the US; (the US will withdraw): that’s about ‘7’ to change and nobody is sure what (5) its replacement will look like.

‘7’ The most dramatic and unique aspect of (5) the current state of affairs in ‘7’ international politics is that we cannot count ‘7’ on the ability of a single state, or ‘7’ a group of sufficiently powerful countries, to ‘7’ play a leadership role in the future. This means it is ‘7’ difficult for us to imagine ‘WHO WILL’ ‘7’ be able to force states to comply with the ‘7’ rules of conduct in their foreign policy, and ‘7’ how such strictures can even be enforced.

The Antichrist; ‘A King of Dark Sentences’ (political language, false agreements, deceiving covenants, lies, back-room dealing, deception, intrigue, announcements and deceiving doctrines and programs.)

23 “ And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (Daniel 8:23-25)

Revelation 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and POWER was ‘GIVEN’ him (Prince, Beast, Antichrist) over ALL kindreds, and tongues, and NATIONS.

The One World Government Leader Has Power OVER ALL THE NATIONS of the EARTH.

WHO is the Abraham Accords ‘Confirmer,’ the BEAST, the Eighth (8th) King, the ‘ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT LEADER’, the FIRST RIDER OF THE APOCALYPSE who goes to Perdition (Utter Destruction), The LAST CAESAR, PHARAOH or ANTICHRIST?

Revelation 13:2-4

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon [Satan, Allah, Prince of the Power of the Air] which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast [Antichrist, Man-by-Satan ‘MbS’], saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Emphasis mine. Discernment mine.)

Five (5) references to ‘beast.’ 5 denotes satanic influence over evil men.

Jesus Identified the Sign of the Antichrist: He is NOT Macron, Biden, Obama, Trump, Putin, Jinping, Gates, Pope Francis or Klaus Schwab. The ‘Beast’ has been identified NOW, and his role changes to the Antichrist 3.5 years into the Tribulation.

Revelation 17:8-11 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

‘Seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.’ = NEOM Babylon sits on the seven (7) tallest mountains in the Midian Mountain range in the Tabuk region of Saudi Arabia. Tallest mountain is Mount Sinai. These mountains are scarlet and purple colored due to volcanic origin and related minerals deposited in rock. NEOM is a $500 (5) billion technological/hedonistic paradise. No mention or acceptance of Christ.

The seven and eight kings are in reference to the genetic lineage (bottomless pit of evil) of the House of Saud. These are ALL the modern kings since the foundation of modern Saudi Arabia.

Proof of the ‘line of’ of the 8 kings.

Kings of Saudi Arabia (1932–present)

 1.        King Ibn Saud. 9/22/1932 – 11/9/1953. Kingdom founded by conquest. Had six (6) sons that became Kings of the Kingdom. Six (6) is the number of evil man/men. The ground work for this kingdom was being created at the same time as the ground work for the State of Israel. Satan started establishing his ‘chosen people’ (those who worship the dragon and beast) at the same time God was re-establishing his ‘chosen people’ (the Jews) over the 1930’s to late 1940’s. 1 of the 5 ‘fallen/dead’ kings.

2.         King Saud. 11/9/1953 – 11/2/1964. 2 of the 5 ‘fallen/dead’ kings.

3.         King Faisal. 11/2/1964 – 3/25/1975. 3 of the 5 ‘fallen/dead’ kings.

4.         King Khalid. 3/25/1975 – 6/13/1982. 4 of the 5 ‘fallen/dead’ kings.

5.         King Fahd. 6/13/1982 – 8/1/2005. 5 of the 5 ‘fallen/dead’ kings.

6.         King Abdullah. 8/1/2005 – 1/23/2015. The king ‘that is.’ This is the 6th king revealed by the Holy Spirit to John the Apostle. He is the signpost for the ‘season of the times’ of the latter days, prior to the tribulation. A sign for the evil Gentile nations.

7.         King Salman. (King 2015 – ?). 1/23/2015- (2022) This is the 7th and ‘future’ king revealed to John the Apostle who will reign for a ‘short time or while’. If his reign lasts for 7 years, from 2015 on into 2022, it will truly reflect a short reign and denotes God’s divine completion to his plan or purpose for the seven kings, including the seventh king. King Salman is the LAST of the six (6) sons of Ibn Saud to be King of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Is The De Facto King Amid Concerns Over Father’s Health

8.         Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. He is the 8th and final ‘future’ king revealed to John the Apostle. He is the ‘beast’, comes from seven (7) kings/lineage before him and goes to perdition. His reign is over the seven (7) years of the tribulation. Born 1985, he will be 35 (7×5) years old in 2020. Seven (7) denotes God’s divine completion to His plan or purpose. Five (5) denotes Satanic influence of men and kings. God’s influence over men in greater than Satan’s influence over men 7>5. Notice that MBS will be the FIRST king who is NOT a direct son of founding King Ibn Saud in 1932. Becoming the 8th king, MBS represents a ‘new epoch’ a ‘new future’ for the kingdom that forms an ideological break from the past. Eight (8) denotes a new beginning, new timeline, new season, new plan. God is addressing the evil status quo of the House of Saud (bottomless pit of evil, wealth, influence, power, corruption) and ushering in the time of great wrath, the tribulation for Gentile nations. From a spiritual perspective, MBS not being one of the six (6) sons of the founding King Ibn Saud, now holds claim to being the son of perdition under the power and influence of the dragon (Satan). MBS has no allegiance to his family tree, tradition, other family princes and historical political protocol. Only an extremely evil, pathological soul manipulated by Satan would turn on his own family. In Satan’s plan, he used the ‘bottomless pit’ of evil House of Saud to raise MBS, the beast, the son of perdition to be in the positions he both currently and in future, will hold. Just as Jesus Christ had an earthly family tree and lineage, Satan used the House of Saud as the earthly family tree, lineage for his son of perdition, the beast, the coming Antichrist.

At the time John the Apostle was in the Holy Spirit and given a ‘vision’ of the future, 5 of the Saudi Kings were already dead (fallen). He was shown the sixth king, and told that a future 7th and 8th king were coming. The sixth king was a ‘sign post’ of the beginning of the ‘end times’ prior to the tribulation. The 7th King ‘short while’ in current King Salman, the last son of founder Saud. Mbs, Mohammed bin Salman is ‘Crown Prince’ and will become the 8th king (goes into perdition). MbS is the ‘Beast’ who rules during the seven (7) year tribulation and great tribulation (last 3.5 year period.) MbS (Beast now), becomes the Antichrist midway during the 7 year tribulation, at the occurrence known as the ‘Abomination of Desolation.’

King Salman brought his son, MBS into the kingdom’s political arena in 2015. 2015-2020 is also a 5 year period of Satanic influence on MBS, as he has grown in power and worldwide influence and stature among not only Western countries, but among ‘Kings of the East’, and those who worship the dragon and the beast throughout Middle East / North African countries (MENA – the ‘many’ Arabic and Islamic countries).

Mohammed bin Salman (named Crown Prince, June 2017). He is referred to scripturally as both a Prince and as a King. This is extremely unique and mentioned for a very real reason. He plays a prophetic role as Prince (when he confirms the false peace covenant among many nations throughout MENA regarding Israel and the Palestinians). Please consider that many, if not all, MENA countries are either Arabic and/or Muslim and are financially and politically beholden to Saudi Arabia in one form or another. Religiously, all these countries are beholden to the House of Saud, because it is the ‘custodian’ of Islam’s ‘holiest’ sites in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims must come for Hajj in Saudi Arabia at some point in their life, if capable (those who worship the dragon and the beast). Satanic influence is woven together and throughout ALL of these counties. They will agree to MBS’ confirmation of the covenant, as Crown Prince. They dare not come against the Crown Prince’s wish and confirmation. Thus, they will abide by his confirmation. They have every reason to accept his confirmation, because of their political, financial and religious vested interests with Saudi Arabia. ‘Who can make war or come against the Beast?’

MBS also plays a prophetic role as Saudi Arabia’s 8th King. This will likely occur before he enters the rebuilt Jewish 3rd Temple and causes the Abomination of Desolation (claims to be god and demands to be worshiped as such). Poor man wants to be rich, rich man wants to be prince, prince wants to be king, king wants to be god and rule everything. As such, MBS will likely be the Saudi’s 8th King once he sets foot in the rebuilt Jewish temple half way through the tribulation. After all, he is already the focus of ‘those who worship the dragon and the beast.’ He now wants the Jews to worship him along with the rest of the world (via the destruction of his previous accommodation and approval of the worshipping of the false mystery religions.) It’s not enough that Satan has deceived almost 2 billion Muslims. He now wants to be worshipped by the rest of the earth by Hindus, Buddhists,  Satan destroys the false ‘mystery religion’ being propagated by the False Prophet, so he can be the only focus of mankind’s worship. These false religions served their satanic purpose by deceiving men and leading men away from Christ, now is time to throw these other false religions into the fire so men are forced to worship Satan, through MBS exclusively.

Hence, MBS’ role will have changed from beast/prince to king to Antichrist at this point. He is indwelt by Satan in order for Satan to satisfy his claim that he will rise to be like the true God and to be worshipped as such. As a spiritual entity, Satan can only possess and indwell a flesh and blood human man. Satan has done everything in his power to raise MBS up through the evil bottomless pit of the House of Saud, to become a Crown Prince, to become a King, and now that Satan has possessed him to become the world-wide Antichrist. At this point, MBS is completely under Satan’s authority and power and ensues to blaspheme God and Jesus Christ.

The timing of when MBS became Crown Prince is known (June 2017). When he becomes king is when his father succumbs the throne to MBS (this could be through death or a short political reign for one reason or another – health?). The actual timing is unimportant, all we are told is that the 7th king’s reign is for a ‘short time or while.’ His term could be 5, 6, 7 or 8 years.

Where else is there a family/political dynasty on earth that has had seven (7) consecutive kings that rule a country from the same genetic line? In the Middle East? During the time of Israel’s rebirth from a valley of dry bones to a budding fig tree? Saudi Arabia’s current 7th king and future 8th king fit the Biblical narratives set forth by the Word of God. 7th and 8th kings from the bottomless pit of evil, money, power, influence, corruption (5 Satanic influences). MBS is prince when he confirms the covenant. MBS becomes an Antichrist when he is worshiped as a mujaddid by Muslims, and then becomes the worldwide Antichrist when he is indwelt by Satan.

The timing of John the Apostle’s vision regarding the 8 Kings from the bottomless pit of the House of Saud – 5 ‘fallen’, 1 ‘is current’, 2 ‘are future’.

Why is this even a topic worth mentioning? What is the point? Is there a point? Yes, there is a point. And it is VERY important, from a prophetic viewpoint. In that, it is a ‘viewing point’ of the latter days, leading up to the tribulation. How so?

First, as Christians, we know that the Triune God gave John the Apostle a vision and knowledge of many things pertaining to the days leading up to and into the tribulation and after. The Holy Spirit carried him into the future, from his particular life in time, to witness things that he then explained in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. One of the visions he was given, while in the Holy Spirit, was of the 5 kings that were fallen, a 6th king he was being shown, and that of a 7th king who had not come (but would rule for a short while at some point in the future). Lastly, he was shown a future and last 8th king known and described as the Beast who would be sent to perdition, udder destruction, the lake of fire and brimstone, the second death … alive.

I have attempted to confirm who the 7th and 8th kings are from our point in space and time, relative to the ‘season of the times.’ What about this mysterious sixth king, the king ‘who is’. Why is this king important that John the Apostle was directly being shown? And what possible prophetic importance can he have? Of the 8 kings, why would God single out this particular man?

Consider that God, through the Holy Spirit, could have shown John any or all of the Kings in future ‘real time’. He was not permitted to see the 7th or 8th kings, but only the sixth. What perhaps was God’s reason for this?

The reign of 6th King Abdullah was from 2005 to 2015. This snapshot of time and space is important because it suggests that this time frame is important for us, for Gentiles alive in the final generation. To know that we are indeed in the ‘final season’ prior to our harpazo/rapture and the onset of the tribulation, without any doubt or hesitation. We know that Israel’s prophetic time clock began in 1948. God’s prophetic time clock for the tribulation of Gentile nations suggests that it started during the time of this sixth king. It is beyond the scope of this letter to go into details about what has occurred throughout the entire earth during the time of the sixth king’s reign. Many prophetic things started being revealed over the 5 year period from 2010 to 2015. The time of the sixth king’s reign is a sign post, a flashing light, a notice of when the final season begins and is upon the earth for Gentiles. God has given signs in scripture and the heavens for Jews, and Gentiles alike. The September 23, 2017 occurrence of the ‘great sign in heaven’ is an example of a sign for the Bride of Christ. The 6th Saudi king is a Gentile and a member of the House of Saud and the bottomless pit of evil. His reign (along with all the other past 5 kings and 2 future kings) has been orchestrated by Satan during the growth of this kingdom and the discovery of its bottomless wealth (oil). To a logical mind, clear and sober, this would indicate that God is saying that the age of grace for all Gentiles on earth is coming to a close. It is not important that we don’t know if God considers 2005 or 2015 to be the beginning of the ‘season of the time before the tribulation.’ Just as God spoke generically about the rebirth of Israel, as when you ‘see the fig tree bearing fruit’, he was referring to a time frame or process developing over time. In His divine plan, things develop and take time to grow until their divine timing is ripe to be revealed. Those who can discern can watch this occur, as it happens in ‘real time’ and understand appropriately and accordingly. As God gave a general timeline for Israel, commencing in 1948, he gives a Gentile timeline commencing in 2015. This of course is BEFORE the arrival of the future 7th and 8th kings who would indicate perhaps the middle and end of the ‘Fall Season’ or Season of the Times’ prior to the rapture/harpazo for the Bride and the onset of the tribulation.’

The 7 year period from 2015 to 2022 does indeed represent a 7 year period denoting God’s divine completion to his plan or purpose for the modern kingship lineage (line of) of Saudi Arabia. Time for the ‘Age of Grace’ has almost ended.  As I write this letter, there is exactly only three (3) months remaining in 2019 before the world enters 2020 and a ‘new’ decade. Time is running out before the time begins of God’s great wrath on mankind and Gentile nations. We can know this with certainty by looking at the time frame witnessed by John the Apostle of the 6th king from the House of Saud. Six (6) denotes evil man/men. Seven (7) denotes God’s divine completion to his plan or purpose. Eight (8) denotes new era, new epoch, new season, new time span, new series of events. The 7th Saud King indicates that God is finished with Satan’s status quo in Saudi Arabia and of the evil Gentile world. The 8th Saud King indicates that God is ushering in a new time of tribulation and trial for mankind, Jews and Gentiles. Remember, the seven (7) year tribulation is also referred to as the ‘time or week of Jacob’s trouble.’ A week being seven (7) years and Jacob being a reference to Jews and Israel. God is turning his attention back onto Israel, the redemption of the Jews, wrath towards the Gentile world and arranging the coming Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth.

But how can they call on him (Jesus Christ) to save them unless they believe in him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they believe in him (Jesus Christ) if they have never heard about him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they hear about him (Jesus Christ) unless someone tells them?” —Romans 10:14

In His Service,

Night Watchman

Paul Rolland

Night Watchman Ministries

Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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