The UK The Daily Mail tabloid reported on alleged torture of the Saudi elite by “US mercenaries”.
Citing an anonymous source, The Daily Mail states that Saudi princes and billionaire businessmen arrested in a power grab earlier this month are being strung up by their feet and beaten by American private security contractors.
The “anti-corruption” purge initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led to arrests of several top officials and businessmen in the country. The arrests have been followed by “interrogations” which said were being carried out by “American mercenaries” brought in to work for the Crown Prince, according to The Daily Mail. The anonymous source cited Blackwater as one of the involved PMCs.
Academi, the successor to Blackwater, has denied these allegations. A Saudi whistleblower twitter account, @Ahdjadid, which posts what is said to be inside information, also claimed Salman has brought in at least 150 “Blackwater” guards. They tweeted: “The first group of Blackwater mercenaries arrived in Saudi Arabia a week after the toppling of bin Nayef [Salman’s predecessor as crown prince].”
“They are beating them, torturing them, slapping them, insulting them. They want to break them down,” the source said. Highest profile prisoner, billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was hung upside to “send a message” after being lured to a meeting with the crown prince. They claim the princes and other billionaires are being detained at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh. They also said that all the guards in charge were private security because Mohammed Bin Salman didn’t want Saudi officers there who had been “saluting those detainees all their lives.”