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Saudi arrest of Binladin family scion shatters royal entente

By: AYA BATRAWY, Associated Press
November 10, 2017 Updated: November 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm
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photo - FILE - In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Khost, Afghanistan. The reported arrest on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 of Bakr Binladin, who was Osama bin Laden’s half brother and chairman of the expansive Saudi Binladin Group, signals the end of the Al Saud-Binladin family alliance. His arrest also speaks to the larger demands being made on the business community to pay into the crown prince’s economic vision in this era of lower oil prices. (AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan, File)
FILE - In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Khost, Afghanistan. The reported arrest on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 of Bakr Binladin, who was Osama bin Laden’s half brother and chairman of the expansive Saudi Binladin Group, signals the end of the Al Saud-Binladin family alliance. His arrest also speaks to the larger demands being made on the business community to pay into the crown prince’s economic vision in this era of lower oil prices. (AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan, File) 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Among those caught in the unprecedented arrests this week of top princes, wealthy businessmen and senior officials was the scion of one of Saudi Arabia's most recognizable families: Bakr Binladin, the chairman of the kingdom's pre-eminent contractor — and Osama bin Laden's half-brother.

It was a stunning end to a decades-old alliance between the ruling Al Saud and Binladin families that saw the Saudi Binladin Group secure a near-monopoly on mega-expansion projects in Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, throughout the reigns of successive Saudi monarchs.

It also speaks to the larger demands on the business community to pay into the crown prince's economic vision in an era of lower oil prices.

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