Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
|Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud|
|Minister of Interior|
|In office||18 June 2012 – 5 November 2012|
|Predecessor||Nayef bin Abdulaziz|
|Successor||Mohammed bin Nayef|
|Deputy Minister of Interior|
|In office||1975 – 18 June 2012|
|Deputy Governor of Makkah Province|
|In office||1971 – 1975|
|House||House of Saud|
|Mother||Hassa Al Sudairi|
|Born||1942 (age 71–72)
Early life and education
Prince Ahmed was born in Riyadh in 1942. He is the son of King Abdulaziz and Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi and the youngest member of Sudairi brothers. Prince Ahmed is supposedly the 31st son of King Abdulaziz. Since his father died when he was eleven in 1953, he was raised by his mother and his brothers. His eldest brother King Fahd was a father-figure for him.
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz received his primary and secondary education at Princes School and Anjal Institute in Riyadh. He completed secondary education in 1961. He studied English and some science subjects at the University of Southern California (USC). 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.
After his graduation, Prince Ahmed dealt with business. He was the chairman of National Gypsum Company from 1969 to 1970. In 1971, he appointed the undersecretary of Makkah Province. He also served as the deputy governor of Makkah Province during the reign of King Faisal. Later, King Khalid appointed him as the deputy minister of interior in 1975 which lasted until 18 June 2012 when he was named interior minister.
His main function as deputy interior minister was to deal with the different provinces of the Kingdom. 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.
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. 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. The other task of Prince Ahmed as deputy interior minister was to coordinate the contacts with ulema (the religious leaders). He also served as the vice president of the supreme commission for industrial security and chairman of preparatory committee for national security. In addition, he was the deputy chairman of civil defense council. Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi stated that Prince Ahmed had mostly involved in administrative matters instead of security during his tenure as deputy interior minister.
Prince Ahmed was appointed interior minister on 18 June 2012 after the death of former interior minister Prince Nayef. 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. His appointment as interior minister was also regarded as a move, signalling that he was the most likely candidate to rule Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman. However, Prince Ahmed's tenure lasted until 5 November 2012, and he was succeeded by Mohammed bin Nayef, who was former deputy interior minister. The official reason for Prince Ahmed's removal was given as his request. However, his objection to divide the security forces into independent units was one of the actual reasons for his dismissal.
Prince Ahmed was also the chairman of the supreme hajj committee during his term as interior minister.
Nawaf E. Obaid argued in 2002 that especially three members of House of Saud were popular, although many of them were believed to be corrupt. Prince Ahmed is one of these popular members, the others are then-crown prince King Abdullah and then-Riyadh governor Prince Salman. Prince Ahmed was also seen one of the potential candidates to the Saudi throne at the beginning of the 2000s. However, on 27 March 2014 he was sidelined by Muqrin in the sense that Muqrin was appointed to the new position of Deputy Crown Prince.
Together with the former interior minister Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Prince Ahmed was reported to pay massive bonuses to successful security officers, but also have a reputation for honesty and using the massive security budget only for the mission and not to enrich themselves.
Views and activities
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. 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".
On 29 November 2010, he attended the Crown Prince Cup, an annual horse race on behalf of late Crown Prince Sultan who was in Morocco. He said in a press conference in 2011 that for women, driving is against the law. After his appointment as interior minister, it was argued that like Crown Prince Salman, he was also supporter of King Abdullah's cautious reform initiatives.
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. Another son, Nayef, holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and is a colonel in the Saudi Armed Forces with responsibilities for strategic planning. One of Prince Ahmed's daughters, Falwa bint Ahmed, is married to Salman bin Sultan, assistant general secretary of the National Security Council and late Prince Sultan's son.
Prince Ahmed is honorary president of Saudi Alzheimer's Charitable Society.
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Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
|Minister of Interior
June – November 2012
Mohammed bin Nayef