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Prince Bandar takes helm of Saudi intelligence at time of crisis

Prince Bandar bin Sultan greets President Ronald Reagan in 1983 shortly before being named ambassador to the United States.

Special to By GIS/Defense Foreign Affairs The appointment on July 19, of Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the Director General of the Mukhabarat al A’amah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency, signifies a new era in Saudi Arabia’s internal power base and in the Kingdom’s strategic power projection, particularly with regard to [...]

July 29th, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Iran,Iraq,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Saudi religious police cited in death of motorist playing loud music

Al Watan reported that a Saudi man was killed and his wife and two children were injured when their car crashed off a bridge while being pursued by religious police in Jeddah.

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia, facing continuing reports of abuse, has again pledged to reform the religious police. Officials said the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice would be guided by new rules meant to prevent abuse of civilians. In July, the police were blamed for the death [...]

July 27th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Life,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

Saudi Arabia bails out the Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Saudi King Abdullah in Jeddah on July 13.  /EPA

Special to RAMALLAH — Saudi Arabia has intervened to rescue the Palestinian Authority from its worst financial crisis. Officials said the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom has agreed to relay $100 million to the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The officials said the money was expected to be transferred from Riyad to the West [...]

July 17th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Palestinian Authority,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Shi’ites strike Saudi security posts after cleric’s arrest

Maj. Gen. Mansour Al Turki.  /AFP

Special to ABU DHABI — Shi’ite insurgents have renewed attacks in Saudi Arabia. Officials said suspected Shi’ite insurgents conducted at least two attacks in the oil-rich Eastern Province. The officials said the insurgents attacked a police station and two security patrols in which one person was killed and four officers injured. “The security at [...]

July 15th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Saudis, Kuwait agree to reopen Wafra oil field

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has been preparing to revive a major crude oil field. Officials said Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were drafting plans to revive the Wafra heavy oil field along their mutual border. They said the two Gulf Cooperation Council states would decide on investment and technical details in 2013 [...]

July 9th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Kuwait,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

Saudis training religious police to manage tourists without deterring tourism

the Saudi High Tourism Commission has decreed that 450 religious policemen will be trained to work in tourist areas and places of public interest.

Special to ABU DHABI — Saudi religious police, in another boost to their authority, have been assigned to deal with tourists to the Gulf Arab kingdom. Officials said the Saudi Interior Ministry has overseen training of hundreds of officers from the religious police. The officials said the training course by the Commission for the [...]

July 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Top Stories | Read More »

It’s the oil, stupid: The coming energy revolution

Qatar's oil minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada, former Algerian oil minister Chakib Khelil and Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi share a laugh during the OPEC International Seminar in Vienna on June 13.  /Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Sol W. Sanders   [See Archive] If we can get your attention off Dred Scott II — the Supreme Court decision on health care costs with its byzantine political implications — something perhaps as fundamental for the U.S. and world economies is happening: a second fossil fuel revolution. The Saudis are pumping oil like mad. [...]

July 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Daily Brief,Exclusives,Iran,Life,Mideast,Russia,Saudi Arabia,Sol Sanders,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,World Links | Read More »

U.S. offers safe haven, stipends to key Syrians who betray Assad

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Special to WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community has opened a secret dialogue with members of the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Western diplomatic sources said the CIA and State Department were sending messages to middle and senior level members of the Assad regime. The sources said the messages, sent through relatives [...]

June 27th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,Syria | Read More »

Prince Salman, 76, named heir to the Saudi crown

Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz has been appointed the new heir apparent following the death of Crown Prince Prince Nayef.

Special to ABU DHABI — Defense Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has been named the next crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Salman, 76, was named heir to the crown on June 18 two days after the death of his predecessor and brother, Nayef. The appointment of Salman, who retained his post as defense [...]

June 19th, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Kuwait,Mideast,Saudi Arabia | Read More »

Thanks to Saudis, U.S. breaks defense exports record

Saudi Arabia has ordered the modernization of 70 of its Royal Air Force fleet of U.S.-made F-15s.

Special to WASHINGTON — The United States, bolstered by huge Saudi projects, has set a new defense export record. The State Department said U.S. military sales have reached a record in 2012 amid the processing of more than 83,000 arms export licenses. They said arms exports in 2012 already exceeded $50 billion in fiscal [...]

June 18th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Saudi Arabia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

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