The Saudi Succession Threat

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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Saudi Arabia has been a part-time ally of the U.S., crushing Al-Qaeda terrorists trying to overthrow the Royal Family in its own territory but promoting radical Islam outside of it. The U.S. has made the largest arms sale in history to the Saudis but these weapons could end up in dangerous hands, especially if Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud becomes king.

King Abdullah is 86 years old and in poor health. His designated successor, Crown Prince Sultan, is 82 and widely thought to have cancer. Aware that he and his successor could die in a short period of time, King Abdullah made Prince Nayef the Second Deputy Prime Minister in March of 2009, a position which is viewed as being the slot just below the successor. A cable from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh released by WikiLeaks is dated May 2009 and reports that “Crown Prince Sultan has been incapacitated by illness for at least (the) past year.” This means that Prince Nayef effectively becomes the king when Abdullah passes.

Prince Nayef is already extremely powerful. As Interior Minister, he oversees the security forces including the religious police that enforce the Sharia law on the country. He is also the chairman of the Supreme Committee on the Hajj, making him the manager of the most important trip for Muslims all around the world. He also exercises power over foreign policy, such as by leading the delegation to the Gulf Cooperation Council summit this month.

Nayef is understood to be an ally of the Wahhabist clerics and an opponent of the more reform-minded elements of the Royal Family like King Abdullah. His role in promoting extremism is so deep that in 2003, Senator Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. requesting that Nayef be sacked because of his “well-documented history of suborning terrorist financing and ignoring the evidence when it comes to investigating terrorist attacks on Americans.”

According to former CIA case officer Robert Baer’s book, Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, Nayef bluntly said shortly after the 9/11 attacks that “the great power that controls the earth, now is an enemy of Arabs and Muslims.” He was also the head of the Saudi Committee for Support of the Al-Quds Intifada and told a Saudi newspaper on November 29, 2002 that “It is impossible that 19 youths carried out the operation of September 11, or that Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda did that alone…I think [the Zionists] are behind these events.” In May 2004, he reiterated this belief, saying “Al-Qaeda is backed by Israel and Zionism.”

In his capacity as Interior Minister, Nayef has ruled with an iron fist. He is known to jail activists for reform and has power over the clergy that regularly spews radical Islamic doctrine. He is thought to be the one behind raids by the religious police on shopping malls, resorts and other institutions that are viewed as promoting moral corruption. On the other hand, there are some encouraging things about Nayef. If for no other reason than self-preservation, he has been effective in combating Al-Qaeda elements in the country. In November 2002, he said “All our problems come from the Muslim Brotherhood.” And in October 2008, he slammed the clergy for not combating extremism, saying “the imams have failed miserably.”

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    The notion that this single individual personifies the threat to the West is everything that's wrong with Middle Eastern analysis today. What we are threatened by is a barbaric belief system little different today than it was 1400 years ago…and embraced to one degree or another by every member of the Saudi royal family.

    Is King Abdullah REALLY such a reformer? Whatever reforms he has instituted in his long reign (I can't think of a single one), they've hardly transformed the country. If Nayef dies or is demoted tomorrow, would our (the West's) position be tangibly improved? Will the next in line be any better?

    Our problem runs much deeper than personalities.

  • http://www.jihadwatch.org Attila

    Who is next in line to to the throne after the crown prince Nayef?

    • jimgetten

      Satan

      • sharpsrifle

        Satan is co-regent already.

  • suprkufrB

    Moslems believe that they have an allah-given right to all earth's resources. I hope we believe otherwise. My Christmas wish would be that whoever becomes the next President will eschew the practice of the previous two and refuse to grovel before his saudi masters.
    These are stone-age people. We have every right to appropriate the oil which by chance happened to turn up in their camel dung sheikdoms for the common good.

    • jtbaumgart

      One can only hope that the New Congress with issue arrest warrants for CAIR, The Muslim Brotherhood and make it illegal for any US company to do business with any other nation that refuses to allow Jewish Synagogues and Churches to be built and also allow freedom of conscience which in a nutshell allows Muslims to leave Islam.

  • nihthuntr

    Why is our oil under there sand??????

  • John Farthgum

    The US is never going to wake up until millions of its citizens are killed. We simply refuse to to defend ourselves all because we do not want to "offend" our enemy's by saying in fact that they are our enemy. Keep making all the politically correct excuses as we repeatedly suffer one attack after another while being told…"it is a one-off"…."do not jump to conclusions"…"these are just a few hard-core radicals and do not speak for main-stream Muslims"…."Islam is a peaceful religion"…and the best one yet…"WE WILL BRING THOSE RESPONSIBLE TO JUSTICE". That last one is the best. Tell me…what is it going to take to wake up and realize what their intent is?????????

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    The United States State Department in particular has caused immense harm to the USA all along.
    After the Korean War that ended with a tie of sorts, those at State managed to shackle the US into a miserable set of self inflicted wounds. Vietnam, Lebanon, terrible decisions in Yugoslavia resulting on a fragmented and threatened soft underbelly of Europe, etc. Now we see Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan also slowly turning into the next failures.
    OIL dependance and industrial base losses have done the rest. The dependence of ME oil rather than developing alternative fuels and local oil resources resulted in the islamic world immobilizing the US and leading to 9/11.
    The people must wake up into reality before it will be too late and China, the waiting giant completes the circle.
    We simply cannot afford two more years of SD and Presidential actions leading a debilitated US into fatal and final collapse.

  • Spider

    Don't be fooled by any more Saudi subtrifuges. When it comes to the U.S. they have been completely duplicidous. All of the money brains and ideology that enables Al-Qaeda attacks on western countries comes directly from Saudi Arabia. In the case of 9-11 even the foot soldiers came from there. At the same time this happens we see our presidents holding their hands and kissing their feet for their oil, They get away with this because they have bought off our government at the highest levels with our own money.

    All they want is our money for their stinking oil.

    Al-Qaeda

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Saudi Arabia has been a part-time ally of the U.S., crushing Al-Qaeda terrorists trying to overthrow the Royal Family in its own territory but <span class="IL_AD" id="IL_AD4">promoting</span> radical Islam outside of it.

    A part time ally? Actually Saudi Arabia through its stealth and deceptive non-violent global jihad, which is not only in the process of currently Islamizing Europe but also North and South America as well, is the linchpin of the stealth and deceptive non-violent global jihad.

    Saudi Arabia has never has been our ally or our friend although it has been bribing and manipulating useful idiot American Presidents and diplomats to their ends for decades. The only difference between AQ and the Saudis is AQ are fast jihadists and the Saudis are slow jihadists, but otherwise they both ideologically agree that Islam must be made supreme throughout the entirety of the world.

    As for as the author’s idiotic comment whereby Saudis are promoting radical Islam outside goes, that comment is retarded and demonstrates that the author of this article is completely incompetent when it comes to writing about Islam.

    Indeed, when the author makes the absurd claim that the Saudis promote radical Islam, it infers that there must be a moderate version of Islam, which is totally ludicrous since the text of Islam are immutable, and that immutable text, by the way, obligates all Muhammadans to wage jihad against unbelievers for the spread of Islam as its main goal. In fact, that jihad ideology within Islam couldn’t be more mainstream, as it is taught and advocated by all sects within Islam and by all schools of Islamic jurisprudence in both Sunni and Shi’a Islam.

    Moreover, there are no radical Muhammadans, which infers that there are also moderate Muhammadans that practice some form of non-existent moderate Islam. Instead, there are only devout Muhammadans and apostates, and according to Islam apostates must be executed.

    As a matter of fact, the totalitarian ideology of Islam is very similar to the totalitarian ideology of Communism, as there were Communists and Communist dissidents, and Communist dissidents were either executed or sent off to Siberian gulags where they were worked to death. Indeed, there were no moderate Communists, as you either were Communists or you weren’t. Likewise with respect to Islam, there are no moderate Muhammadans, as you are either a Muhammadan or you are an apostate, and if you are the latter, then you should be executed, as the Muhammadans don’t have gulags.

    Fortunately, during the Cold War we didn’t have incompetent Presidents like we have today that absurdly declare that Communism is an ideology of Peace that is being hijacked by a tiny minority of radicals and extremists. If we did, today we would all be sipping vodka and calling each other comrade.

    Moreover, during the Cold War we didn’t invite millions of Communists to immigrate and infiltrate our countries because that would have been suicidal. However, unfortunately today that is exactly what we are doing, inviting millions of Muhammadans to immigrate and infiltrate our countries and nothing could be more suicidal.

    Thus, can anyone explain what happened between the times of the Cold War and today that makes our elites so corrupt and suicidal? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not voting for any candidate running for political office unless that candidate demonstrates that he or she is not blinded by political correctness,the same way GWB, Obama, and the writer of this article all are.

  • tanstaafl

    "Muslim reformer" – sorry, just another oxymoron.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      In reality a Muhammadan reformer is an apostate that should be executed according to devout Muhammadans. Hence, Dr. Zudhi Jasser, the infamous Muhammadan reformer and archetypal moderate Muhammadan, according to the MSM, and Irshad Manji, the infamous Muhammadan lesbian, Muhammadan reformer, and also archetypal moderate Muhammadan according to the MSM, are apostates that should be executed according to devout Muhammadans.

      The reality is the people that resort to wishful thinking by believing reforming Islam is the solution are people that don’t really understand what Islam is. These are the same people that equate Islam with being a religion similar to Christianity. However, while Islam may have initially started out as being a religion, Muhammad later on in his career morphed it into a militant theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks to subjugate the world via the imposition of Sharia as its main goal. Hence, today Islam is far closer to other totalitarian ideologies like Communism, Fascism, and Nazism, than it is to religion. Thus, just like it wasn’t impossible to reform Communism, for instance, it is impossible for Islam to ever be reformed. Not only that but the text of Islam are immutable as well.

      • BayouCoyote

        Both of your posts are outstanding.

        "Thus, can anyone explain what happened between the times of the Cold War and today that makes our elites so corrupt and suicidal?"

        Yes, the State Dept was infiltrated in order to use our troops for the Saudis bidding, along with some political leaders having been bought off(Not to mention the Statues still standing of a few of them in Albania) & we're finally coming to grips with it.
        OTOH, I wouldn't consider them suicidal though, they actually think they're going to get away with it.

        Pardon me for asking, but why no mention of S.Schwartz (The Jewish convert to islam & apologist who peddles islamaphobia like a prostitute who peddles STDs)?

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Yeah…I agree, Schwartz has been one of the biggest whores in propagating a false narrative of Islam.

  • Paul

    A peaceful Muslim is an Oxymoron. The only difference among Muslims is the level of extremism they believe is optimal for the expansion of Islam and Sharia law. Even the same Muslim individual will adjust the ratio of open Jihad vs stealth Jihad depending upon the circumstances and his location. So on one hand we have the bombers/head cutters and on the other hand we have the bankers/breeders. Their methods can be very different but their unholy aims remain the same, the forced submission of mankind to Sharia law.

    Matthew 7:16

  • jimgetten

    Once again, our thirst for cheap oil will be our undoing. The 112th Congress had better get down to business and get serious about energy independence. They also must realize the incursion of Islamic stealth jihad taking place in the USA and address it soon.

  • VIVI ANDERSEN

    Look at The Muslim Brotherhood !

    They are working in USA and in Europe and they are the leading squad.

    They are dangerous to all of us :

    the late ( he was hanged by the Egyptians) Sayd Qutb is their ideologist .

    Read his books !

  • Lightning jack

    This nation has the means but not the collective will to confront the Saudis for playing Two-Card Monte with our national security and global anti-terror initiatives. Everyone knows the Saudis are the major covert funding source and sponsoring activity of world-wide Islamic jihad.

    To negotiate a multi-billion dollar arms sale suppling this two-faced regime with technologically superior weaponry is an invitation to more dangerous weapons proliferations problems in the near future.

  • max

    you guys are dumbasses. nobody here has any idea wtf they're talking about, seroiusly.