Muhammad bin Nayef
|Muhammad bin Nayef|
|Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia|
|Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia|
|In office||29 April 2015 – present|
|Predecessor||Muqrin bin Abdulaziz|
|Minister of Interior|
|In office||5 November 2012 – present|
|Predecessor||Ahmed bin Abdulaziz|
|Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia|
|In Office||23 January 2015 — 29 April 2015|
|Predecessor||Muqrin bin Abdulaziz|
|Successor||Mohammad bin Salman|
|House||House of Saud|
|Father||Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud|
|Mother||Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz bin Musaed bin Jiluwi|
30 August 1959 |
Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: محمد بن نايف بن عبد العزيز آل سعود; born 30 August 1959) is the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia. He is also the chairman of the new Council for Political and Security Affairs. On 29 April 2015, bin Naif was appointed heir apparent by King Salman. As Crown Prince, he is first in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia. He is a member of the House of Saud and a nephew of King Salman. If he ascends to the throne, as a grandson of Ibn Saud he will be the first king of the third generation in Saudi Arabia.
Early life and education
Prince Muhammad was born in Jeddah on 30 August 1959. He is the second eldest son and one of ten children of Prince Nayef. Prince Saud is his older brother. Their mother is Al Jawhara bint Abdulaziz bin Musaed Al Jiluwi who is a member of the Al Jiluwi branch of the House of Saud.
Muhammad bin Nayef studied in the United States. He took courses at Lewis & Clark College but did not receive a degree. He attended the FBI's security courses from 1985 to 1988, and was trained at Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism units from 1992 to 1994.
Muhammad bin Nayef was appointed assistant interior minister for security affairs in 1999. He had been a businessman before this appointment. He was widely credited for the success of the Ministry's counter-terrorism program. He was also regarded as the architect of the government's counter-insurgency program. He also served as the director of civil defense during his term as assistant minister. He was considered to be an effective assistant interior minister.
In 2004, he was appointed to the rank of minister, becoming number two at the ministry of interior. In October 2010, he warned the U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser of the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot. After the appointment of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as interior minister upon the death of Prince Naif in July 2012, Prince Muhammad became deputy interior minister.
In November 2009, King Abdullah appointed Muhammad as a member of the influential Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia. This move was regarded as approval of the increase in then-Crown Prince Nayef's power by King Abdullah. On the other hand, this appointment enables Prince Mohammed to extend his influence over the government's economy policy.
On 5 November 2012, King Abdullah issued a royal decree and dismissed Prince Ahmed, minister of interior, from his office and appointed Prince Muhammad as minister. He became the tenth interior minister of Saudi Arabia. Prince Muhammad took the oath of office in front of King Abdullah on 6 November 2012. His appointment was not regarded very positively by human rights activists due to Prince Muhammad's professional experience as a tough enforcer who imprisoned thousands of suspected troublemakers in Saudi Arabia. However, he is regarded as less corrupt and less likely to personally abuse his power in comparison to other senior princes of his generation.
Prince Muhammad met with David Cameron, British Premier, in January 2013. Then he met with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on 14 January 2013. They discussed issues of security and regional developments. In late January 2013, interior minister Prince Muhammad announced that Saudi women would be allowed to work at the directorate.
In February 2014, Prince Muhammad was made responsible for Syria, replacing Bandar bin Sultan, then intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia. Muhammad was assisted in this effort by Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the minister of the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki reportedly accused Saudi Arabia of playing a negative role in Syria, Iraq and other countries, saying "They are attacking Iraq, through Syria and in a direct way, and they announced war on Iraq, as they announced it on Syria, and unfortunately it is on a sectarian and political basis."
Deputy Crown Prince
On 23 January 2015 it was announced that King Salman had appointed Muhammad bin Naif as deputy crown prince. The announcement reportedly helped calm fears of dynastic instability over the line of succession. Thus, Prince Muhammad became the first of his generation to be officially in line for the throne.
In addition to his other posts Prince Muhammad was named the chair of the Council for Political and Security Affairs which was established on 29 January 2015.
War in Yemen
As chair of the Council for Political and Security Affairs, the Prince has been a leading commander of Operation Decisive Storm, the first major Saudi military operation of the 21st century.
Mohammed bin Naif, unlike most of the royal family, actively talks to the media. Concerning the struggle against terrorism, he adopts a policy of the iron fist like his father, Prince Naif. He, and other decision-making elites, believe terrorism must be treated as a form of crime and fought with ruthless policing methods. Walid Jumblatt described Mohammed bin Naif as the Saudi equivalent of General Ashraf Rifi, former director-general of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces.
Mohammed bin Naif was commended by Western intelligence agencies for Saudi Arabia's counterterrorism programs. He called for a "security channel" with the United States to facilitate information exchange. He firmly supported U.S. President Barack Obama in his opposition to the release of detainee interrogation photographs. He thought that Yemen was a "dangerous failed state" and becoming a serious threat to Saudi Arabia. He further believed that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was losing control. He suggested a strategy of directly working with Yemeni tribes, condemning terrorism.
He praised General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as a "good man". He voiced his concerns concerning Iran’s nuclear program. He defers foreign policy issues to the King. After his appointment as interior minister, U.S. diplomats argued that he is "the most pro-American minister in the Saudi Cabinet".
The Economist described Prince Muhammad as energetic and low-key, and stated that he was one of the candidates for the throne when the line of succession passes to the grandsons of King Abdulaziz. He was also considered to be one of the possible contenders after his father's death in June 2012. In 2011, Michael Hayden reported that Prince Muhammad was the world's fifth most powerful defender.
Mohammed bin Naif escaped four assassination attempts unhurt.
The third attempt was on 27 August 2009. Mohammed bin Naif was slightly injured by Abdullah Hassan Al Aseery (Al Asiri), a suicide bomber linked to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al Aseery spoke to Muhammad bin Naif a few days prior to the bombing and expressed a desire to turn himself in as part of the country's terrorist rehabilitation program. This was an apparent plot to get admitted to the Prince's palace. Al Aseery is believed to have traveled to Jeddah from Yemen's province, Marib. During Ramadan, Al Aseery waited in line at the Prince's Jeddah home as a "well-wisher". He exploded a suicide bomb, killing himself, but only slightly injuring Mohammed bin Naif, who was protected from the full force of the blast by Al Aseery's body. Muhammad bin Naif appeared on state television with a bandage around two of his fingers on his left hand. He stated, "I did not want him to be searched, but he surprised me by blowing himself up. However, this will only increase my determination to fight terrorism in the kingdom". In the attack, Al Aseery used an explosive device hidden inside his rectum. These are commonly known as a surgically implanted improvised explosive device, or as a 'Body Cavity Bomb' (BCB).
This was the first assassination attempt against a royal family member since 2003, when Saudi Arabia faced a sharp uptick in Al Qaeda-linked attacks. The last assassination attempt against Prince Mohammed was in August 2010.
|Ancestors of Muhammad bin Nayef|
- Also spelled Mohammed.
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- "Saudi prince spoke to bomber on phone before attack". Reuters. 2 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009.
On the recording broadcast by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, the two men are heard exchanging pleasantries and congratulating each other for the holy month of Ramadan, which was then being observed by Muslims around the world, indicating that the conversation took place in recent weeks. 'I need to meet you to tell you the whole story', the man told the prince. 'If you come I will sit with you and both of us can give whatever he has to his companion', the prince replied
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- Bunker, R.J. Flaherty, C. (2013). Body Cavity Bombers: The New Martyrs. A Terrorism Research Center Book. iUniverse, Inc. Bloomington, 2013.
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- "Family Tree of Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud". Datarabia. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
Media related to Muhammad bin Naif at Wikimedia Commons
|Saudi Arabian royalty|
|Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
28 April 2015 – present
Ahmed bin Abdulaziz
|Minister of the Interior
Muqrin bin Abdulaziz
|Second Deputy Prime Minister
Mohammad bin Salman
Muqrin bin Abdulaziz
|First Deputy Prime Minister