Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior
Tenure18 June 2012 – 5 November 2012
Prime Minister
PredecessorNayef bin Abdulaziz
SuccessorMohammed bin Nayef
Deputy Minister of Interior
Tenure1975 – 18 June 2012
Prime Minister
SuccessorAbdul Rahman Al Rabiaan
Deputy Governor of Mecca Province
Tenure1971–1975
Appointed by
Born (1942-09-05) 5 September 1942 (age 79)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
IssueAbdulaziz bin Ahmed Al Saud
Names
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal Al Saud
HouseHouse of Saud
Alma mater
FatherKing Abdulaziz
MotherHassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: احمد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود Aḥmed bin ʿAbdulʿazīz Āl Suʿūd; born 5 September 1942) is a member of House of Saud who served as deputy minister of interior from 1975 to 2012 and briefly as minister of interior in 2012. He was detained in March 2020 on the orders of his brother and nephew, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, respectively, and charged with treason.[1]

Early life and education

Prince Ahmed was born in Riyadh on 5 September 1942.[2][3] He is the son of King Abdulaziz and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi and the youngest of the Sudairi brothers.[4] Prince Ahmed is supposedly the 31st son of King Abdulaziz.[5][6]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz completed secondary education in 1961.[7] He studied English and some science subjects at the University of Southern California (USC).[7] He joined University of Redlands[8] in 1962 and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in government and political science.[9][10]

Career

After his graduation, Prince Ahmed dealt with business and was the chairman of the National Gypsum Company from 1969 to 1970.[7] In 1971, he was appointed the undersecretary of Makkah Province.[7] He also served as the deputy governor of Makkah Province during the reign of King Faisal.[6] Later, King Khalid appointed him as the deputy minister of interior in 1975[7] which lasted until 18 June 2012 when he was named interior minister.[11]

His main function as deputy interior minister was to deal with the different provinces of the Kingdom.[12] Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was also operational head of special security force, which reports directly to the interior minister. This force was established in 1979 after the poor performance of the SANG at the Grand Mosque Seizure in Makkah.[13]

Prince Ahmed was given the task of introducing reforms in the Eastern Province during the early 1980s to improve the province where the kingdom's Shi’ite minority lives.[14] In fact, this task was given him in the wake of the riots experienced in the province in 1979 to make observations about the effects of the Iranian Revolution and the Shi’ite dissention on the security of oil industry. Prince Ahmad openly declared that the Saudi government had neglected the region and had actively discriminated against its Shi’ite population. He also promised massive investments in the development of Al Hasa's economic infrastructure, educational system, and other services.[15] The other task of Prince Ahmed as deputy interior minister was to coordinate the contacts with ulema (the religious leaders).[16] He also served as the vice president of the supreme commission for industrial security and chairman of preparatory committee for national security.[7] In addition, he was the deputy chairman of civil defense council.[17] Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi stated that Prince Ahmed was mostly involved in administrative matters instead of security during his tenure as deputy interior minister.[11]

Prince Ahmed was appointed interior minister on 18 June 2012 after the death of Interior Minister Prince Nayef.[18] Abdul Rahman Al Rabiaan succeeded him as deputy interior minister.[19] It was reported that Prince Ahmed would not change the major security policies of Saudi Arabia since the country experienced a threat from Al Qaeda in Yemen and an unrest among its Shi'ite Muslim minority.[11] His appointment as interior minister was also regarded at the time as a move signalling that he was the most likely candidate to rule Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman.[20] Prince Ahmed was the chairman of the supreme hajj committee during his term as interior minister.[21] However, Prince Ahmed's tenure only lasted until 5 November 2012,[22] and he was succeeded by Mohammed bin Nayef, who had been deputy interior minister.[23] The official reason for Prince Ahmed's removal was given as his request.[24] However, his objection to dividing the security forces into independent units was one of the actual reasons for his dismissal.[25]

Exclusion from the succession

Nawaf E. Obaid argued in 2002 that three members of the House of Saud were especially popular, although many of them were believed to be corrupt. Prince Ahmed was one of these popular members; the others were Crown Prince Abdullah and Riyadh governor Prince Salman.[26] Prince Ahmed was also seen as one of the potential candidates to the Saudi throne at the beginning of the 2000s.[27]

However, on 5 November 2012 he was sidelined in the sense that he was left without any major job, and on 1 February 2013 Prince Muqrin was appointed second deputy prime minister and on 27 March 2014 to the new position of deputy crown prince.[28] As of 2015 Prince Ahmed was still the favourite crown prince of the reformists who argued that Prince Ahmed held a more legitimate claim to the throne by birthright.[29]

Arrest

On 7 March 2020 Prince Ahmed was arrested along with his son Nayef[30] and his nephews, Mohammed bin Nayef and Nawwaf bin Nayef.[31][32] The Saudi government claimed that the princes were plotting to overthrow King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.[33][31][32]

Views and activities

Together with Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Ahmed was reported to pay massive bonuses to successful security officers, but they also had a reputation for honesty and using the massive security budget only for the mission and not to enrich themselves.[12]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz visited Pakistan in November 2005 for three days and examined the extent of destruction caused by the Kashmir earthquake from an airplane. He promised to provide Pakistan whatever needed for the rebuilding process after the earthquake. He encouraged all Muslim nations to provide aid to Pakistan. He also condemned terrorism and stated it was incompatible with Islam.[34] Prince Ahmed called for a "border fence" between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The plan for the fence was initiated in 2006 and he stated repeatedly it would not become a "segregation wall".[35]

On 29 November 2010, he attended the Crown Prince Cup, an annual horse race on behalf of Crown Prince Sultan who was in Morocco.[36] He said in a press conference in 2011 that for women, driving is against the law.[37] After his appointment as interior minister, it was argued that, like Salman, he was also a supporter of King Abdullah's cautious reform initiatives.[38]

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz is one of three members of the Allegiance Council who did not support the appointment of Mohammad bin Salman as crown prince on 21 June 2017.[39] The others were Muhammad bin Saad Al Saud and Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.[39] The latter represented his older brother, Khalid bin Abdullah, at the meeting of the council.[39]

In 2018 Ahmed bin Abdulaziz left Saudi Arabia for London. On 4 September 2018, he was confronted by protesters shouting slogans against him and the House of Saud outside his residence in London. He responded to the protesters by asking them to blame the current ruling Saudi Monarch and the current Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman instead.[40] Following the repercussions from the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, news reports suggested that he had returned to Saudi Arabia in October 2018[41][30] (after he got guarantees from the US and UK Governments regarding his personal security) to help the Royal Family control the situation and possibly help usurp some of the Crown Prince's powers.

Personal life

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz has two wives with whom he has five daughters and seven sons. One of his wives is Fahda bint Turki Al Sudairi.[42] His eldest son, Abdulaziz, is former secretary general of Arab Ophthalmology[43] and was born in Redlands, California, when Prince Ahmed was attending the University of Redlands.[42] Another son, Nayef, holds a PhD from Cambridge University[44] and was a colonel in the Saudi Armed Forces with responsibilities for strategic planning.[45] He served as the head of land forces intelligence and security authority until his arrest on 7 March 2020.[30] Another son, Prince Sultan, was appointed the ambassador to Bahrain in September 2019,[46] and he is known to have a keen interest in politics and international affairs.

One of Prince Ahmed's daughters, Falwa bint Ahmed, is married to Salman bin Sultan, former assistant general secretary of the National Security Council.[47] Another, Noura, was the former wife of Faisal bin Abdullah Al Saud.[48] Noura bint Ahmed who was born in Redlands, California, in November 1968 is the third child of Prince Ahmed.[42] Her mother is Fahda bint Turki Al Sudairi, and she is the full sister of Abdulaziz bin Ahmed.[42]

On 26 July 1999 Prince Ahmed was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities from his alma mater, the University of Redlands.[49] He was honorary president of Saudi Alzheimer's Charitable Society.[50]

Ancestry

References

  1. ^ Summer Said; Justin Scheck; Warren Strobel (6 March 2020). "Top Saudi Royal Family Members Detained". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  2. ^ "An unprecedented power war in the Al-Saud family, are Salman and his son close to the finish line?!". IUVM Press. 15 September 2018. Archived from the original on 3 December 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Chairman of Supreme Council". Naif Arab University for Security Sciences. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  4. ^ Winberg Chai (2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4.
  5. ^ Abdullah Al Shihri; Brian Murphy (18 June 2012). "Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's Defense Minister, Named Crown Prince". The Huffington Post. AP. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b Ali Sharaya (19 June 2012). "Profile: Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Who is Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz?". Saudi Gazette. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  8. ^ J. E. Peterson (2003). Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780810827806.
  9. ^ "Profile: King Salman's youngest brother, Ahmed bin Abdulaziz". Al Jazeera. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Ahmed Al Saud gets degree from UR after long effort". Redlands Daily Facts. 23 September 1968. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Angus McDowall (18 June 2012). "Saudi appoints Prince Salman as crown prince". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b Anthony H. Cordesman; Nawaf Obaid (2004). "Saudi internal security: A risk assessment" (PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  13. ^ Michael G. Gonzales (2009). Combating Deviants: The Saudi Arabian Approach to Countering Extremism and Terrorism (MA thesis). United States Army Command and General Staff College. doi:10.21236/ada505019. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Challenges Facing The New Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia". Alifarabia. 30 October 2011. Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  15. ^ Baron Reinhold (June 2001). Omnibalancing and the House of Saud (MA thesis). Naval Postgraduate School, California. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  16. ^ Amir Taheri (2012). "Saudi Arabia: Change Begins within the Family". The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. 34 (3): 138–143. doi:10.1080/10803920.2012.686725. S2CID 154850947.
  17. ^ "CDO Grants Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Medal of Commander". Gulf in the Media. Riyadh. Saudi Press Agency. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  18. ^ "Prince Salman named Saudi crown prince". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  19. ^ Salem Al Najdi (10 October 2015). "كيف أشرك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز السعوديين في الحكم؟". Riyadh Post (in Arabic). Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  20. ^ Angus McDowall (19 June 2012). "Saudi succession in spotlight after new heir named". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Prince Ahmed: Elaborate plans in place for the Makkah rush". Saudi Gazette. Jeddah. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  22. ^ Abdullah Hazaa Othman; Oleg Evgenievich Grishin; Bakil Hasan Nasser Ali (2020). "The Conflict Wings in the Saudi Political System" (PDF). Journal of Politics and Law. 13 (3): 68. doi:10.5539/jpl.v13n3p64. S2CID 225480634. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Saudi Arabia's king appoints new interior minister". BBC. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Saudi king fires interior minister seen as contender for throne". World Tribune. Abu Dhabi. 7 November 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  25. ^ Zvi Bar'el (25 June 2013). "In Saudi Arabia, the king is counting his days". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  26. ^ Nawaf E. Obaid (January–February 2002). "In Al Saud we trust". Foreign Policy. 128 (128): 72–74. JSTOR 3183359.
  27. ^ Amir Taheri (2004). "Saudi Arabia: Between Terror and Reform" (PDF). American Foreign Policy Interests. 26 (6): 457–465. doi:10.1080/10803920490905523. S2CID 154222715. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013.
  28. ^ Caroline Alexander; Donna Abu-Nasr (1 February 2013). "Saudi Prince Muqrin Is Named Second Deputy Prime Minister". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  29. ^ Taylor Luck (10 November 2015). "Saudi succession: Rival princes jockey as global oil slump hits home". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  30. ^ a b c "At least 20 princes detained in mass purge by Saudi crown prince". Middle East Eye. 7 March 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  31. ^ a b Juan Cole. "It Seems That Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince MBS Is Continuing His Purge of Potential Rival Princes". Common Dreams. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  32. ^ a b Alasdair Sandford (7 March 2020). "Saudi Arabia: three senior royals 'detained' in latest clampdown". Euronews. AP. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  33. ^ "MbS moves to quash dissent with detainment of senior Saudi royals". Castlereagh Associates. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  34. ^ "S. Arabia promises 'unlimited' help". Dawn. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  35. ^ "Border fence with Iraq 'not a segregation wall'". Gulf News. 2 October 2006. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  36. ^ "Crown Prince Cup". Saudi Gazette. 9 January 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  37. ^ Ahmad Al Omran. "Driving while female: More Saudi women stopped on the road". NPR. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  38. ^ Irfan Al Alawi; Stephen Schwartz (22 June 2012). "Weekly Standard: Hope for Reform in Saudi Arabia?". NPR. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  39. ^ a b c Karen Elliott House (June 2017). "Saudi Arabia in Transition: From Defense to Offense, But How to Score?" (Senior Fellow Paper). Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. p. 5. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  40. ^ David Hearst. "Senior Saudi prince flies home to tackle MBS succession". Middle East Eye.
  41. ^ "Mujtahidd: Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz returns to Saudi Arabia". Middle East Monitor. 30 October 2018.
  42. ^ a b c d "Prince Ahmed, Wife, Greet New Princess". Redlands Daily Facts. 22 November 1968. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  43. ^ Sharaf Sabri (2001). The House of Saud in Commerce: A Study of Royal Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. Sharaf Sabri. p. 151. ISBN 978-81-901254-0-6.
  44. ^ Joseph A. Kechichian (5 July 2001). Succession In Saudi Arabia. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-312-23880-3.
  45. ^ "Underpinning Saudi National Security Strategy". JFQ. 2002. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  46. ^ "Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman appointed Saudi Minister of Energy". Saudi Gazette. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  47. ^ "Family Tree of Salman bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  48. ^ "تعرف على أسماء أبناء الملك عبد الله الـ 36.. أكبرهم متعب الأول وأصغرهم الأمير بندر". El Balad (in Arabic). 23 January 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  49. ^ "Biography of H.R.H Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  50. ^ "Deputy Interior Minister hails Alzheimer's Society achievements". Ministry of Interior. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
Political offices Preceded byNayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Minister of Interior June – November 2012 Succeeded byMohammed bin Nayef