Hot Signals: Saudi Arabia; Israel

In Saudi Arabia, our signals detected anomalous attention to key figures in advance of their arrest in yesterday's sudden purge. And our predictive models indicate the risk of a terrorist incident in Israel is high.


SAUDI ARABIA | Yesterday, Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of dozens of prominent figures, including state ministers, wealthy businessmen, and royal princes. The government cited corruption, but the arrests appear to be the latest move to consolidate power by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, top advisor and expected successor to King Salman, 81.

A Predata index that monitors online interest in the Saudi Deep State, including the 17 most notable figures detained in yesterday's arrests, spiked in the past weeks. This signal activity didn't necessarily presage the purge (or an attempted royal coup, as some observers have suggested was in the works), but the spike was anomalous and inexplicable.

Especially noteworthy was a rise in attention to the now-detained Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Salman and one of the world's richest persons. The uptick in digital attention may have reflected the tycoon's growing influence or perhaps ambition, which could have landed him on the purge list.

ISRAEL | The risk of a terrorist incident in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel rose sharply at the end of October. Multiple signals trained to anticipate attacks against civilians, police, and military personnel have continued to climb into November, indicating the likelihood of such an attack is highly elevated through the end of this month. The 30-day terrorist incident prediction for Israel, which spiked before 85% of terrorist incidents in the last year, is currently near a record high.

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