The Assassination of the Saudi King in 1975

The Saudi King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (King Faisal) was assassinated on March 1975 by his nephew Prince Faisal bin Musaid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. There are various explanations about why the Prince murdered the King. According to one of them the Prince revenged the assassination of his brother Prince Khalid bin Musaid al Saud.

Prince Khalid was shot by the Saudi police during demonstrations in the 60s, when many Saudis were demonstrating against the King’s decision to allow the use of tv in Saudi Arabia. The assassin and nephew of King Faisal was sentenced to death and publicly beheaded.

Picture 1 King Faisal (1964-1975)

King Faisal

The assassinated King Faisal had become King in 1964 by forcing his elder brother King Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (King Saud) to resign. After his dethronement King Saud was exiled, and he went to Egypt, where he stood by the side of the socialist Egyptian dictator Gamal Nasser, who was fighting Saudi Arabia. For Gamal Nasser and Saudi Arabia see “The Intra-Arab War for Oil 1950-1970”.

After a while King Saud left Egypt and went to Greece where he stayed until the end of his life in 1969. This was not the only time that members of the Saud family had collaborated with the Egyptian dictator against Saudi Arabia. In 1958 the “Free Princes Movement” was established by Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and some other members of the royal family. They were inspired by the “Free Officer Movement”, which was the organization established by socialist officers of the Egyptian army in the 50s, with Gamal Nasser as the leader, who later overturn the pro-Western King Faruk and aligned Egypt with the Soviet Union. The members of the Saud family who established the Free Prince Movement lived in Egypt for a while, until they were offered prestigious positions in Saudi Arabia and decided to return.

The Saud family has thousands of members. Only Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Saud, who founded the third Saudi State in 1932, had approximately 50 sons and 100 daughters. Each son in turn has many wives and children himself. Most Princes have some form of power i.e. in business, in religion, in the army, in the Saudi bureaucracy etc. There is a constant power struggle in Saudi Arabia, and the King very often has to create new roles in order to keep happy the members of the Saudi royal family who are popular and can create problems.


“1975: Saudi’s King Faisal assassinated”

“Free Princes Movement”

“A history of treason – King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud”, May 2014

“Faisal of Saudi Arabia :Struggle with King Saud”

“The Split in the Saudi Royal Family”, September 2002

“Saudi Arabia’s Royal Family Divided? Prince Calls For Replacement Of Monarch’s Leaders Amid Tumbling Oil Prices”, September 2015

King Salman’s Shady History”, January 2015

“Al-Qaida Threatens Saudi Arabia With Retribution for Executing Militants”, January 2016

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