Sultanate of Oman
Internal Security Service
جهاز الأمن الداخلي
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Oman and its national security (internal)
HeadquartersQurum, Muscat Governate, Sultanate of Oman
Agency executive
  • Lt Gen Said bin Ali al Hilali, Head of ISS

Internal Security Service (ISS; Arabic: جهاز الأمن الداخلي, transliterated: Jahaz al Amn al Dakhly) is the national security agency of the Sultanate of Oman.[1] The agency focuses solely upon domestic security while foreign intelligence operations is specifically handled by the Palace Office, which controls external security and coordinates all intelligence and security policies.[2]

The stated overall purpose of ISS is to investigates all matters related to internal security.[3][4][5] The ISS also leads on Omani counter terrorism procedures and outreach activities.[6]


The ISS can trace its history back to the intelligence and security structures set up using British military intelligence expertise as part of Sultan Said's armed forces in the 1950s.[7] HM Sultan Qaboos developed the capability, and the Oman Intelligence Service became the Oman Research Department (ORD), with its main focus being supporting counter-insurgency operations in the Dhofar Region in the 1970s.[8][9][10] The ORD was re-titled the ISS in 1987.[10]

The ISS is known to have offices in Qurum (in the Capital area)[11] and Salalah in Dhofar.[12][13]

In 1994 and 2005 there were attempted coups against the Sultan's rule and the ISS would have been instrumental in uncovering and investigating the plots.[14][15][16]


As of May 2013, Lieutenant General Said bin Ali bin Zahir al Hilali was appointed Head of the ISS[17] – he had formerly been the assistant head of the agency. He was still in post as of November 2015.[18] His former post was passed to Brigadier Ghosn bin Hilal bin Khalifa al Alawi (who was promoted to major general on assuming the post of Assistant Head ISS).[19] Lieutenant General Said al Hilali's brother is the Sultanate's Public Prosecutor, who was reported in 2012 to be ready to use the law to restrict freedom of speech and association.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "Internal Security Service". (in Italian). Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Oman, Page 3" (PDF). US DOS. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Oman". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Oman's Internal Security Service launches its official website". Times of Oman. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Oman: Internal Security Service continues systematic targeting of human rights defenders & Internet activists". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  6. ^ Gunaratna, Rohan; Ali, Mohamed Bin (2015). Terrorist Rehabilitation: A New Frontier in Counter-terrorism. World Scientific. p. 16. ISBN 9781783267453. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  7. ^ Eickelman, Dale F.; Dennison, M. G. (1 March 1994). "Arabizing the Omani intelligence services: Clash of cultures?". International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. 7 (1): 1–28. doi:10.1080/08850609408435235. ISSN 0885-0607.
  8. ^ Macris, Jeffrey; Kelly, Saul (2012). Imperial Crossroads: The Great Powers and the Persian Gulf. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781612510941. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  9. ^ Jones, Clive (2011). "Military Intelligence, Tribes, and Britain's War in Dhofar, 1970-1976". Middle East Journal. 65 (4): 557–574. doi:10.3751/65.4.12. JSTOR 41342740. S2CID 145005866.
  10. ^ a b Allen, Calvin H.; II, W. Lynn Rigsbee (2014). <>id=lLujAgAAQBAJ&q=ORD+Dhofar&pg=PA91 Oman Under Qaboos: From Coup to Constitution, 1970-1996. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 9781135314309. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  11. ^ Peterson, John (2007). Historical Muscat: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer. BRILL. p. 24. ISBN 978-9004152663. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Projects | Al Amana Co. LLC". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Oman Yellow Pages". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Oman Is Immune from Terrorist Groups". Fanack Chronicle. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Oman sentences members of secret group between one to 20 years 02/05/2005". KUNA. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  16. ^ "BBC NEWS Middle East Oman jails 31 for plotting coup". 2005-05-02. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  17. ^ Newspaper, Muscat Daily. "His Majesty the Sultan appoints new head of Internal Security Service - Oman". Muscat Daily News. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Times of Oman 10 Nov 2015". Retrieved 7 July 2017 – via PressReader.
  19. ^ Staff Report (21 May 2013). "New chief for internal security in Oman". GulfNews. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  20. ^ Valeri, Marc. "Simmering Unrest and Succession Challenges in Oman". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 7 July 2017.