Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah

General Intelligence Presidency (GIP)
رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة الـسعودية
Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah as-Suʿūdiyyah

Seal of the General Intelligence Presidency

Flag of the General Intelligence Presidency
Agency overview
Formed 1955 (1955)
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction Government of Saudi Arabia
Headquarters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Annual budget $500 Million (as of 2006)[1]
Agency executives
Parent agency Independent

The Ri'āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-'Āmah (Arabic: رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة), also known as the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) or the General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), is the primary intelligence agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


The first president of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah was Sheik Kamal Adham, who served from 1965 to 1979.[2][3] Then Turki Al Faisal served as the president of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah until 2001.[4] Prince Turki resigned abruptly from his post tens days before the 9/11 attacks in 2001 (in which 14 Saudi nationals hijacked and crashed US commercial airliners) despite having had his appointment extended in May 2001 for another four years.[5]

Nawaf bin Abdulaziz replaced Prince Turki on 1 September 2001. The organization was renamed "The General Intelligence Presidency" during Nawwaf's tenure.[6] Nawwaf was relieved of his duty as the head of GIP by Crown Prince Abdullah on 25 January 2005. For nine months, nobody was appointed to head the presidency.[7][8]

Then, Muqrin bin Abdulaziz was appointed as head of the General Intelligence Presidency by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in October 2005.[9] Additionally, King Abdullah relieved Prince Saud bin Fahd of his duties as vice president of GIP.[10][11] Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed was appointed as new vice president of GIP.[10]

On 20 July 2012, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was appointed director general of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, replacing Muqrin bin Abdulaziz.[12] Another Saudi royal, Prince Abdulaziz bin Bandar, who had been vice head of the directorate, was relieved from his post, and Youssef bin Ali Al Idrisi replaced him as vice head in October 2012.[13]

On 15 April 2014 Prince Bandar bin Sultan was removed from his position "at his own request" according to the announcement in the Saudi state media.[14][15] It was reported that He would be replaced by his deputy, Youssef bin Ali Al Idrisi.[16]

However, Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud became the director general of the Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah on 30 June 2014.[17] His term ended on 29 January 2015 when Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan replaced him in the post.[18]


The role of intelligence was recognized by King Abdulaziz Al Saud who had used it in his unification of Saudi Arabia. His interest in modern communication increasingly grew when he set up the first radio communications system in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom started the intelligence service in 1955 under the name of Al-Mabahith Al Aammah.

During the reign of King Saud bin Abdulaziz, the General Intelligence was separated from the Mabahith (General Investigation Directorate). Intelligence was established as an independent security service with the issuing of the Royal Decree 11 in 1957 that ordered the setting up of a special department under the title of Maslahat Al-Istikhbarat Al-Aammah or (General Intelligence Department). During this period two branches of the Presidency were set up locally, the western branch in Jeddah, and eastern one in Dhahran.

The GIP expanded under King Faisal bin Abdulaziz, with the opening of offices abroad. The agency expanded its monitoring of internal threats after the 1979 capture of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.[19]

The GIP's charter was changed by King Khaled bin Abdulaziz in 1982, by Royal Decree M-5, dated 19 December 1982, which set out its responsibilities, duties, and the limits of its activities. This established the internal organization of the agency with a General Department for Operations, the General Department for Administration and Finance, the General Department for Training and Planning, and the General Department for Technical Affairs. Along with the National Research Center, and the Center for Media and International Communications (previously Center for Translation and Media).

In 1997, the Office for External Communications was transferred to the Presidency from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Its name was also changed to the General Department for External Communications, and it was strengthened with the addition of high-tech equipment and specialists in radio surveillance. This period saw the expansion of the activities of the agency abroad with the establishment and development of more offices in other countries, and through more effort to organize its work.

During the reign of King Fahd bin Abdulaziz the Higher Committee for Development was set up and was chaired by the President of the General Intelligence Presidency; its membership consisted of the heads of the various departments of the GIP. Also during the tenure of King Fahd, the administrative structuring of the Information Center was approved.

In late January 2013, interior minister Prince Muhammad bin Nayef announced that Saudi women would be allowed to work at the directorate.[20]

Safari Club

Main article: Safari Club

Soviet Afghan War

Main article: Soviet–Afghan War

Iran Contra affair

Main article: Iran–Contra affair

Cargo planes bomb plot

Syrian Civil War

See also


  1. Cordesman, Anthony (2006). Saudi Arabia: National Security in a Troubled Region. Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 234. ISBN 9780313380761.
  2. Baquet, Dean (30 July 1992). "After Plea Bargain by Sheik, Question Is What He Knows". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. "Prince Nawaf new intelligence chief". Arab News. 1 September 2001. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  4. "Prince Turki's resume". The New York Times. 2 August 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  5. de Borchgrave, Arnaud (2 August 2005). "Saudi Arabian princes that match 007 and George Smiley". Mathaba. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  6. Anthony H. Cordesman; Nawaf Obaid. "Saudi Internal Security: A Risk Assessment" (PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  7. Cordesman, Anthony H. (2009). Saudi Arabia: National Security in a Troubled Region. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-38089-1.
  8. "Prince Moqrin head of Saudi intelligence". Riyadh: UPI. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  9. "Prince Miqrin Appointed President of General Intelligence". SAMIRAD. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  10. 1 2 Anthony H. Cordesman; Khalid R. Rodhan (2007). Gulf Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric Wars. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-275-99399-3. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  11. "King Abdullah: The First Hundred Days". Asharq Alawsat. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  12. Knickmeyer, Ellen (20 July 2012). "Saudi Appointment Suggests Bigger Regional Ambitions". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  13. "Saudi Arabia replaces deputy chief of intelligence". Al Arabiya. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  14. "Saudi Arabia replaces intelligence chief". The Guardian. AFP. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  15. "Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan Removed". BBC. 16 April 2014.
  16. Ian Black (16 April 2014). "End of an era as Prince Bandar departs Saudi intelligence post". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  17. "Saudi Arabia's Prince Khalid bin Bandar named intel chief". Dhownet. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. "King Salman makes appointments". Royal Embassy, Washington DC. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  19. Fisher, Max (November 2010). "What We Can Learn From Saudi Intelligence". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  20. "Saudi women allowed to work for intelligence agency". Al Akhbar. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.

External links

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