Internal Security Service

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Sultanate of Oman
Internal Security Service
جهاز الأمن الداخلي
National emblem of Oman.svg
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Oman and its national security (internal)
HeadquartersQurum, Muscat Governate, Sultanate of Oman
Agency executives
  • Lt Gen Said bin Ali al Hilali, Head of ISS
  • Maj Gen Ghosn bin Hilal al Alawi, Assistant Head of ISS
Parent agencyThe Palace Office

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.[11]

The ISS is known to have offices in Qurum (in the Capital area)[12] and Salalah in Dhofar.[13][14]

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.[15][16][17]

As of May 2013, Lieutenant General Said bin Ali bin Zahir al Hilali was appointed Head of the ISS[18] – he had formerly been the assistant head of the agency. He was still in post as of November 2015.[19] 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).[20] 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.[21]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Allen, Calvin H.; II, W. Lynn Rigsbee (2014). Oman Under Qaboos: From Coup to Constitution, 1970-1996. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 9781135314309. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  11. ^ Ibid p91
  12. ^ Peterson, John (2007). Historical Muscat: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer. BRILL. p. 24. ISBN 978-9004152663. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Projects | Al Amana Co. LLC". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Oman Yellow Pages". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Oman Is Immune from Terrorist Groups". Fanack Chronicle. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Oman sentences members of secret group between one to 20 years 02/05/2005". KUNA. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  17. ^ "BBC NEWS Middle East Oman jails 31 for plotting coup". 2005-05-02. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  18. ^ Newspaper, Muscat Daily. "His Majesty the Sultan appoints new head of Internal Security Service - Oman". Muscat Daily News. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Times of Oman 10 Nov 2015". Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  20. ^ Report, Staff (21 May 2013). "New chief for internal security in Oman". GulfNews. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  21. ^ Valeri, Marc. "Simmering Unrest and Succession Challenges in Oman". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 7 July 2017.