Saudi National Security Council
Agency overview
Dissolved29 January 2015
Agency executives

The Saudi National Security Council (SNSC) (Arabic: مجلس الأمن الوطني) was the body in charge of coordinating Saudi Arabia's national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy. It was established in 2005 by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The first secretary general of the SNSC was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The assistant secretary general of the SNSC was Prince Salman bin Sultan until 6 August 2013.[1] The council was abolished by King Salman on 29 January 2015.


The National Security Council was formed on 16 October 2005 by the newly crowned King Abdullah in response to major geopolitical shifts in the Middle East region. The occupation of Iraq made the region "a center for reconstruction, globalization and reorganization" with the entry of the United States as a major player.[2] In addition to its regional influence in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia is one of the leading actors in the Islamic world and has a central role in global energy policy.


The Council was formed to act as an organizational mechanism that coordinates the Kingdom's internal and external policies relating to national security, enabling it to respond effectively to rapidly changing domestic, regional and international environments.[3] It had the power to declare war and investigate security agencies if they were involved in acts that threaten national security.[4]

Despite the formation of the Council, as with other Saudi government institutions, major national security decisions would continue to be taken by the most senior members of the royal family.[4]


The SNSC was chaired by the King (who is also Prime Minister), with the Crown Prince (who is also Deputy Prime Minister) as deputy chairman. Its affairs are coordinated by a permanent Secretary General.[5][6] At the time of its formation, other members included the Minister of the Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and head of the General Intelligence Presidency.[4] Late Prince Nayef, then interior minister, served as the deputy head of the SNSC.[7]

Final membership of the Saudi National Security Council
Chairman King Abdullah
Deputy Chairman
Crown Prince Salman
Secretary General Prince Bandar bin Sultan
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud bin Faisal
General Intelligence President Prince Khalid bin Bandar
National Guard Minister Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah
Minister of Interior Prince Mohammed bin Nayef


King Salman dissolved the NSC on 29 January 2015.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Son of former Saudi crown prince named deputy defence minister". Reuters. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  2. ^ Abdulaziz Sager (11 November 2005). "Saudi National Security Council: Current Role and Future Prospects". Arab News. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Security Reforms and the House of Saud". Lebanon Wire (Stratfor). 20 October 2005. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Henderson, Simon (24 October 2005). "King Abdullah Recasts Saudi Intelligence". Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Prince Bandar gets 4 more years as National Security Council head". Saudi Gazette. Saudi Press Agency. Archived from the original on 19 September 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  6. ^ "King Abdullah approves National Security Council bylaws, appoints Prince Bandar secretary-general". Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, DC. 16 October 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  7. ^ "The Allegiance Council". APS Diplomat News Service. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Massive Cabinet shake-up". Arab News. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  9. ^ Simeon Kerr (30 January 2015). "Saudi king stamps his authority with staff shake-up and handouts". Financial Times. Riyadh. Retrieved 1 February 2015.