Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah
|رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة الـسعودية
Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah as-Suʿūdiyyah
|Jurisdiction||Government of Saudi Arabia|
|Headquarters||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
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 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'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.
Sheik Kamal Adham, the first president of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, served from 1965 to 1979. Then Turki Al Faisal served as the president of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah until 2001. 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.
Nawaf bin Abdulaziz replaced Prince Turki on 1 September 2001. The organization was renamed "The General Intelligence Presidency" during Nawwaf's tenure. 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.
Then, Muqrin bin Abdulaziz was appointed as head of the General Intelligence Presidency by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in October 2005. Additionally, King Abdullah relieved Prince Saud bin Fahd of his duties as vice president of GIP. Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed was appointed as new vice president of GIP.
On 20 July 2012, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was appointed director general of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, replacing Muqrin bin Abdulaziz. 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.
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. It was reported that He would be replaced by his deputy, Youssef bin Ali Al Idrisi.
However, Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud became the director general of the Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah on 30 June 2014. His term ended on 29 January 2015 when Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan replaced him in the post.
- Mabahith – the Saudi internal intelligence agency
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