Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

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

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior
In office18 June 2012 – 5 November 2012
PredecessorNayef bin Abdulaziz
SuccessorMohammed bin Nayef
MonarchKing Abdullah
Deputy Minister of Interior
In office1975 – 18 June 2012
MonarchKing Khalid
King Fahd
King Abdullah
Deputy Governor of Makkah Province
In office1971–1975
MonarchKing Faisal
Born (1942-09-05) 5 September 1942 (age 77)
IssueAbdulaziz bin Ahmed Al Saud
Full name
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud
HouseHouse of Saud
FatherIbn Saud
MotherHassa Al Sudairi
ReligionWahhabi Hanbali Sunni Islam

Early life and educationEdit

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

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz received his primary and secondary education at Princes' School and Anjal Institute in Riyadh.[3][failed verification] He completed secondary education in 1961.[7] He studied English and some science subjects at the University of Southern California (USC).[7] He then graduated from the University of Redlands in 1968 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. On 26 July 1999, Prince Ahmed was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Redlands.[8]


After his graduation, Prince Ahmed dealt with business. He was the chairman of 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.[9]

His main function as deputy interior minister was to deal with the different provinces of the Kingdom.[10] Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was also operational head of special security force, which reports directly to interior minister. This force was established in 1979 after the poor performance of the SANG at the Grand Mosque Seizure in Makkah.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] The other task of Prince Ahmed as deputy interior minister was to coordinate the contacts with ulema (the religious leaders).[14] 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.[15] Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi stated that Prince Ahmed was mostly involved in administrative matters instead of security during his tenure as deputy interior minister.[9]

Prince Ahmed was appointed interior minister on 18 June 2012 after the death of interior minister Prince Nayef.[16] It was reported that he 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.[9] 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.[17] However, Prince Ahmed's tenure only lasted until 5 November 2012, and he was succeeded by Mohammed bin Nayef, who had been deputy interior minister.[18] The official reason for Prince Ahmed's removal was given as his request.[19] However, his objection to dividing the security forces into independent units was one of the actual reasons for his dismissal.[20]

Prince Ahmed was also the chairman of the supreme hajj committee during his term as interior minister.[21]

Exclusion from the SuccessionEdit

Nawaf E. Obaid argued in 2002 that three members of 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.[22] Prince Ahmed was also seen as one of the potential candidates to the Saudi throne at the beginning of the 2000s.[23] 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.[24]


On 7 March 2020 Prince Ahmed was arrested in addition to the former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Prince Nawwaf bin Nayef based on the claims of plotting to overthrow King Salman.[25] His son, Prince Nayef bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, who served as the head of Land Forces Intelligence and Security Authority, was also detained on the same day.[26]

Views and activitiesEdit

Together with interior minister Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, 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.[10]

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.[27] 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".[28]

On 29 November 2010, he attended the Crown Prince Cup, an annual horse race on behalf of Crown Prince Sultan, who was in Morocco.[29] He said in a press conference in 2011 that for women, driving is against the law.[30] After his appointment as interior minister, it was argued that, like Salman, he was also a supporter of King Abdullah's cautious reform initiatives.[31]

Prince Ahmed eventually left Saudi Arabia for London. On 4 September 2018, Prince Ahmed was confronted by protesters shouting slogans against him and the Saud Dynasty outside his residence in London. Prince Ahmed responded to the protesters by asking them to blame the current ruling Saudi Monarch and the current Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman instead.[32] Following the repercussions from the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, news reports[33] suggested that he had returned to Saudi Arabia in October 2018[26] (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 lifeEdit

Ahmed bin Abdulaziz has two wives with whom he has five daughters and seven sons. His eldest son, Abdulaziz (born 1963), is secretary general of Arab Ophthalmology.[34] Another son, Nayef, holds a PhD from Cambridge University[35] and is a colonel in the Saudi Armed Forces with responsibilities for strategic planning.[36] He served as the head of Land Forces Intelligence and Security Authority until his arrest on 7 March 2020.[26]

One of Prince Ahmed's daughters, Falwa bint Ahmed, is married to Salman bin Sultan, former assistant general secretary of the National Security Council and Prince Sultan's son.[37] Another son, Prince Sultan, was appointed by Royal Decree as Saudi Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain,[38] and he is known to have a keen interest in politics and international affairs.

Prince Ahmed was honorary president of Saudi Alzheimer's Charitable Society.[39]



  1. ^ Summer Said; Justin Scheck; Warren Strobel. "Top Saudi Royal Family Members Detained". 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. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "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 (22 September 2005). Saudi Arabia: A Modern Reader. University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-88093-859-4. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  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. ^ "Biography of H.R.H Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Angus McDowall (18 June 2012). "Saudi appoints Prince Salman as crown prince". Reuters. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  10. ^ a b Anthony H. Cordesman; Nawaf Obaid (2004). "Saudi internal security: A risk assessment" (PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  11. ^ Michael G. Gonzales (2009). "Combating Deviants: The Saudi Arabian Approach to Countering Extremism and Terrorism". United States Army Command and General Staff College. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Baron Reinhold (June 2001). "Omnibalancing and the House of Saud". Naval Postgraduate School, California. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "CDO Grants Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Medal of Commander". Gulf in the Media. Riyadh. Saudi Press Agency. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Prince Salman named Saudi crown prince". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  17. ^ Angus McDowall (19 June 2012). "Saudi succession in spotlight after new heir named". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  18. ^ "Saudi Arabia's king appoints new interior minister". BBC. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Saudi king fires interior minister seen as contender for throne". WorldTribune. Abu Dhabi. 7 November 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  20. ^ Zvi Bar'el (25 June 2013). "In Saudi Arabia, the king is counting his days". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  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. ^ Nawaf E. Obaid (January–February 2002). "In Al Saud we trust". Foreign Policy. 128: 72–74. JSTOR 3183359.
  23. ^ Amir Taheri (2004). "Saudi Arabia: Between Terror and Reform" (PDF). American Foreign Policy Interests. 26: 457–465. doi:10.1080/10803920490905523. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  24. ^ Caroline Alexander; Donna Abu-Nasr (1 February 2013). "Saudi Prince Muqrin Is Named Second Deputy Prime Minister". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "S. Arabia promises 'unlimited' help". Dawn. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Crown Prince Cup". Saudi Gazette. 9 January 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  30. ^ Ahmad Al Omran. "Driving while female: More Saudi women stopped on the road". NPR. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  31. ^ Irfan Al Alawi; Stephen Schwartz (22 June 2012). "Weekly Standard: Hope for Reform in Saudi Arabia?". NPR. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  32. ^ David Hearst. "Senior Saudi prince flies home to tackle MBS succession". Middle East Eye.
  33. ^ "Mujtahidd: Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz returns to Saudi Arabia". Middle East Monitor. 30 October 2018.
  34. ^ Sabri Sharif (2001). The House of Saud in Commerce: A Study of Royal Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. New Delhi: I. S. Publication. ISBN 81-901254-0-0.
  35. ^ Joseph A. Kechichian (2001). Succession in Saudi Arabia. PALGRAVE.
  36. ^ "Underpinning Saudi National Security Strategy". JFQ. 2002. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  37. ^ "Family Tree of Salman bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  38. ^ "Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman appointed Saudi Minister of Energy". Saudi Gazette. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Deputy Interior Minister hails Alzheimer's Society achievements". Ministry of Interior. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Minister of Interior
June – November 2012
Succeeded by
Mohammed bin Nayef