National Security Council (Saudi Arabia)

National Security Council (Saudi Arabia)
Saudi National Security Council
Agency overview
Formed 2005
Agency executives King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Chairman
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Secretary General
Saudi Arabia

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The Saudi National Security Council (SNSC) (Arabic: مجلس الأمن الوطني السعوديMajlis al-Amn al-Waṭanī as-Su‘ūdī) is the body in charge of coordinating Saudi Arabia's national security, intelligence and foreign policy strategy. It was established in 2005 by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The current Secretary General of the SNSC is Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States.[1]



The National Security Council was formed on October 16, 2005 by the newly crowned King Abdullah in response to major geopolitical shifts in the Middle East region. The occupation of Iraq made the region "a center for reconstruction, globalization and reorganization" with the entry of the United States as a major player.[2] In addition to its regional influence in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia is one of the leading actors in the Islamic world and has a central role in global energy policy.


The Council was formed to act as an organizational mechanism that coordinates the Kingdom's internal and external policies relating to national security, enabling it to respond effectively to rapidly changing domestic, regional and international environments.[2] It has the power to declare war and investigate security agencies if they are involved in acts that threaten national security. The latter role was deemed necessary since some security agencies are suspected to have been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda, including the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or religious police.[1]

Despite the formation of the Council, as with other Saudi government institutions, major national security decisions will continue to be taken by the most senior members of the royal family, including King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan and Prince Nayef.[1]


The SNSC is chaired by the King (who is also Prime Minister), with the Crown Prince (who is also Deputy Prime Minister) as deputy chairman. Its affairs are coordinated by a permanent Secretary General.[3][4] At the time of its formation, other members included the Minister of the Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and head of the General Intelligence Presidency.[1]

Saudi National Security Council
Prime Minister
King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
Deputy Chairman
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Defence and General Aviation
Secretary General Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
Minister of the Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
General Intelligence President Prince Muqrin bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud

Secretaries General

The following is the list of Secretaries General of the Saudi National Security Council since 2005:

  1. Prince Bandar bin Sultan (16 October 2005 – )


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