Saturday, October 22, 2011

Conservative Islamist becomes heir to Saudi throne

New York – Colon cancer claimed the life of the aged heir to the Saudi Arabian throne, paving the way for an ultra-conservative who favors Islamic clerics to the top spot in the order of succession.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz, 85, died today in a local hospital. He had for more than 40 years served as the Minister of Defense, noted for spending enormous sums – hundreds of billions of dollars - on weapons systems and national defense. He had of late retreated from making major decisions, deferring to other princes in the royal family, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Though Prince Sultan Aziz led the war effort to remove Iraqi forces from the principality of Kuwait in 1990, he, like other members of the royal family, disapproved of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Diplomats worldwide are saying they fully expect him to be replaced as heir apparent by Prince Nayef, the Interior Minister who has named second deputy prime minister in 2009, the traditional post reserved for the third in line to succeed the monarch of the House of Saud, the ruling family of the nation where Islam was born 1,400 years ago as a result of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. Prince Nayef is considered by knowledgeable government sources to be a close supporter of ultra-conservative Islamic clerics.

Lloyd's insurance market in late September abruptly dropped a lawsuit that named the prince as a key backer and financial contributor to charitable organizations which allegedly supported the training and living expenses of the mostly Arabian crew that carried out the 9-1-1 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an aborted attack on the White House, which resulted in the crash landing of a flight in the Pennsylvania countryside.

The insurance organization, which specializes in transportation contracts, sought to recoup its losses paying off the damages sustained by property owners, airlines, passengers, and victims of the attacks. Having filed suit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, the attorneys announced less than a fortnight later that they were dropping the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs.

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