Some 5,000 princes controlled all power and resources.
(WSJ, 11/12/03, p.A18)
Saudi Arabia holds the Koran as its constitution.
(Econ, 6/23/07, p.56)
The capital is
Riyadh. Sunni Muslims comprise the majority and Shiite Muslims are the minority and live mostly in impoverished villages in the oil-rich eastern part of the country.
(WSJ, 10/14/95, p.A-11)
Religious purity called for deceased non-Muslims to be sent abroad for
(WSJ, 4/9/02, p.A1)
Saudi Arabia is about 1/5 the size of the US.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, Par p.27)
c1AD Nabatean masons carved tombs into solid rock in Madain Salah near Madinah.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
500-600 Arabs about this time brought back home from India the numerals we
refer to as Arabic numbers.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, Z1 p.2)
500-600 The Arabian city of Ubar, disappeared in the early 6th century. The event was later cited by Muhammad in the Quran. In 1992 a team of investigators announced the discovery of he long lost Arabian city of
Ubar. George Hedges (1952-2009), a Hollywood litigator, and filmmaker Nicholas Clapp, participated in the find. Clapp later authored “The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands” (1999).
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A12)
Jan 19, Mohammed (d.632), "The Prophet", founder of Islam and speaker in the “Koran,” was born into the Quraysh tribe in Makkah. He was orphaned at an early age and found work in a trade caravan. He married a wealthy widow and this gave him the freedom to visit Mount Hira each year to think. His birthday is observed on the 12th day of Rabi ul'Awwal, the 3rd month of the lunar
calendar, in a festival known as Mawlid-al-Nabi. The Koran was probably not fixed for the 1st two centuries after the emergence of Islam.
(ATC, p.59)(SFC, 7/6/98, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/15/01, p.A16)(Econ, 4/28/07, p.97)
Apr 6, Lailat-ul Qadar: The night that the Koran descended to Earth. Muhammad is believed by his followers to have had a vision of Gabriel. The angel told him to recite in the name of God. Other visions are supposed to have Gabriel lead Muhammad to heaven to meet God, and to Jerusalem to meet Abraham, Moses and Jesus. These visions convinced Mohammad that he was a messenger of
(ATC, p.59)(MC, 4/6/02)
620 Aug 22, This day corresponds to the 27th day of Rajab, 1427, in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates to the night flight of Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq to the
farthest mosque, usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back.
(WSJ, 8/8/06, p.A10)(www.atheists.org/Islam/mohammedanism.html)
620 Mohammad gained about a hundred converts including
some wealthy Meccan families. This made other Meccans hostile. Mohammad in this year dreamed of being transported from Mecca to the Rock of Mariah in Jerusalem, from which he ascended into heaven and received instructions from God for himself and his followers.
(ATC, p.59)(ON, 7/03,
622 Jul 16, Islamic Era began. Mahomet began his flight from Mecca to Medina (Hegira).
622 Sep 20, Prophet Mohammed Abu Bakr arrived in Jathrib (Medina).
622AD Sep 24, In the Hegira Muhammed left Mecca for Medina (aka Yathrib) with 75
followers. This event marked the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar. The new faith was called "Islam," which means submission to Allah. Believers in Islam are called Muslims-- "Those who submit to Allah's will." In Medina Mohammad tried to unite the Jews and Arabs and initially faced Jerusalem to pray. The Jewish leaders did not accept Mohammad as a prophet and so Mohammad expelled from the
city the Jews who opposed him. From then on he commanded the Muslims to face the Kaaba in Mecca when praying.
622 The Constitution of Medina was drafted by the Islamic
prophet Muhammad about this time. It constituted a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Yathrib (later known as Medina), including Muslims, Jews, and pagans.
624 Muslims engaged non-believers for the 1st time at the Battle of Badr.
624-628 Several Jewish
clans in the Arabian peninsula joined forces with an Arab tribe, the Quraysh, to make war on a renegade Qurayshi named Mohammad, who claimed he was a prophet of God.
(Econ, 8/14/10, p.68)
raised an army of 10,000 and took over Mecca (Makkah). He immediately set out to destroy all the idols at Kaaba. The black stone remained embedded in the corner. The area around became the first mosque, or Muslim house of worship. Mohammad returned from Madinah and began the Islamic conquest of Arabia.
(ATC, p.60)(WSJ, 11/15/01,
632 Jun 8, Mohammed, the founder of Islam and unifier of Arabia, died. Iqra, which means read in Arabic, was reportedly the first word that the archangel Gabriel spoke to Mohammed. His companions compiled his words and deeds in a work called the Sunna. Here
are contained the rules for Islam. The most basic are The Five Pillars of Islam. These are: 1) profession of faith 2) daily prayer 3) giving alms 4) ritual fast during Ramadan 5) Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Sunna also calls for “jihad.” The term means struggle, i.e. to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil. Four contenders stood out to succeed Mohammad. They were Abu Bakr,
his trusted father-in-law. Umar and Uthman, long-time friends and advisers, and Ali, a cousin and blood relative. Ali was Mohammad’s son-in-law and the father of Mohammad’s grandsons. Abu Bakr was chosen as caliph i.e. successor. In 2001 Minou Reeves, Iranian-born scholar, authored “Muhammad in Europe: A Thousand Years of Western Myth-Making.” In 2013 Lesley Hazleton authored “The First Muslim:
The Story of Muhammad.”
(ATC, p.60,63)(SFC, 12/15/98, p.A7)(AP, 6/8/03)(SFC, 10/22/98, p.C5)(WSJ, 12/12/01, p.A15)(SSFC, 1/27/13, p.F1)
632-661 The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the Rightly Guided Caliphate,
comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in history up until that time.
634 Aug 22, Abu Bekr Abd Allah (61), [al-Siddik], successor of Mohammed, died. He was a friend, an Arabic merchant, Mohammed’s father-in-law and the first Caliph. Before his death he appointed Mohammed's adviser Omar
(Umar) as his successor.
(ATC, p.66)(PC, 1992, p.61)
644 Nov 3, Umar of Arabia, the 2nd Caliph of Islam, was stabbed by Abu Lulu while leading the morning prayers at Medina. He died 4 days later on
Nov 7. On his deathbed Umar named a council to choose the next caliph. The council appointed Uthman. Uthman continued to expand the Muslim empire.
656 In Saudi
Arabia Uthman (Othman), the 3rd caliph, was murdered. Under his rule a full, standard text of the Quran was compiled. He had appointed members of his own family as regional governors and caused bitter jealousy among other families. This caused an angry mob of 500 to murder him. This gave Ali an opportunity to claim power. Some claim that Ali plotted Uthman’s murder. Civil war broke out. Muawija,
Uthman’s cousin and governor of Syria, challenged Ali’s right to rule. Ali prepared for war but was murdered by an angry former supporter. The followers of Ali became known as Shiites from the Arabic meaning "the party of Ali." Those who believe that the election of the first three caliphs was valid and who claim to follow the Sunna reject the Shiite idea of the Imam, and are called the Sunnis.
(ATC, p.67-68)(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A6)
656 The Imam Ali mosque in Najaf marks the grave of Ali, the son-in-law of Mohammed and a central figure in Shiite Islam.
661 Jan 24, Ali ibn Abu Talib, caliph of Islam (656-61), was murdered. Caliph Ali, son-in-law of Mohammed, was assassinated and his followers (Shiites) broke from the majority Muslim group.
(SFC, 3/16/02, p.A14)(MC, 1/24/02)
855 Ahmad ibn Hanbal (b.780), Muslim scholar, died in Iraq. He is considered the founder of the 4th school of Sunni Islam. The four schools of Sunni Islam include: a) The Hanafi school, named after Imam Abu Hanifa, predominates in
the territories formerly under the Ottoman Empire and in Muslim India and Pakistan; it relies heavily on consensus and analogical reasoning in addition to the Quran and sunna. B) The Maliki school, named after Malik ibn Anas, is dominant in upper Egypt and West Africa; developed in Medina, it emphasizes use of hadith (sayings or acts) that were current in the Prophet's city. C) The school of
Muhammad ibn Idris ash Shafii, prevailing in Indonesia, stresses reasoning by analogy. D) The fourth legal school is that of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, which is the school adhered to in Saudi Arabia.
1174 Nureddin, the ruler of Syria died. Saladin, the vizier of Egypt, married Nureddin’s widow and assumed control of both state. The Ayyubids under Saladin spent the next decade launching conquests throughout the region and by 1183, the territories under their control included Egypt, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and the North African coast up to
the borders of modern-day Tunisia.
(ON, 6/07, p.5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayyubid_dynasty)
1324-1325 Mansa Musa, king of Mali, made the 3,500 mile pilgrimage to Mecca. He traveled with a very large retinue that
included 80 camels and 500 slaves. An Arab chronicler said he was surrounded by over 10,000 of his subjects.
(ATC, p.119)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1400s The Saud dynasty was founded near
(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1511 In Mecca, Arabia, there was an attempt to ban coffee.
1517 Jan 22, Turks conquered Cairo. Cairo and Mecca were captured by the Turks and Arabia came under Turkish rule.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.11)(MC, 1/22/02)
1703 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d.1792), Islamic theologian and founder of Wahhabism, was born in Arabia. He set out his ideas in “The Book of Unity” (1736). Wahhabism, a puritan branch of Sunni Islam, was founded by al-Wahhab in a poor part of Arabia called Najd. Saudi armies helped to spread Wahhabi Islamic
reform. A Salafi, from the Arabic word Salaf (literally meaning predecessors or early generations), is an adherent of a contemporary movement in Sunni Islam that is sometimes called Salafism or Wahhabism. Salafis themselves insist that their beliefs are simply pure Islam as practiced by the first three generations of Muslims and that they should not be regarded as a sect. [see
(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)(www.concise.britannica.com)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salafi)
1710 Muhammad Ibn Saud was born.
1742-1765 In Arabia Muhammad bin Saud Al Saud allied with Wahhabists and expanded the family domain.
(Econ, 1/7/06, Survey p.6)
1744 In Arabia Muhammad Ibn Saud, local ruler of Ad-Dar'ia forged a political and family alliance with Muslim scholar and reformer Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab. Abdul Aziz, the son of Ibn Saud, married the daughter of Imam Muhammad.
1773 Riyadh fell to Abdul Aziz.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
Ottomans build the al-Ajyad Castle in Mecca to protect the city and its Muslim shrines from invaders. The castle was torn down by the Saudis in 2001 to make way for a trade center and hotel complex. Turkey called this a "cultural massacre."
(SFC, 1/8/02, p.A6)
1792 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (b.1703), conservative Islamic theologian, died. He founded Wahhabism and set out his ideas in “The Book of Unity” (1736). In 2004 Natana J. Delong-Bas authored “Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad.”
(www.concise.britannica.com)(WSJ, 7/20/04, p.D8)
1801 Apr 21, Saudi Arabs led Sunni raids into Karbala, Iraq, killing about 5,000 people.
1803 Saud ibn Abdul Aziz, son of Abdul Aziz, captured the Holy City of Makkah.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1804 The Wahhabis captured Medina, Arabia.
(NW, 9/30/02, p.33)
1806 Apr 21, Saudi Arabs led Sunni raids into Najaf,
Iraq, killing about 5,000 people.
(Econ, 10/11/08, p.65)(http://tinyurl.com/5qdnf3)
1807 Saud al-Saud invaded Karbala, Iraq, for the second time in 1807, but he could not occupy
1811 The Turks dispatched Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali to overthrow the Wahhabis and reinstate Ottoman sovereignty in
(NW, 9/30/02, p.33)
1813 The Wahhabis were driven from Mecca. They returned a century later as rulers of the new state of Saudi Arabia.
(WSJ, 7/20/04, p.D8)
1814 Saud ibn Abdul Aziz died. Prior to his death Muhammad Ali Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, retook Hijaz, captured the son of Saud ibn Abdul Aziz and executed him in Istanbul.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1815 Britain took action against pirate sheikhs protected by the Wahhabis, later rulers of Saudi Arabia, because ships of the East India Company were attacked in int'l. waters. Britain allied with the ruler of Muscat and Oman
and Mohamed Ali of Egypt.
(WSJ, 10/9/01, p.A22)
1824 The Saud family established a new capital at Riyadh.
1837 Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (1787-1860), an Algeria-born mendicant founded the Sanusi, a Sufi order, in Mecca. Beida, Libya, later became the seat of the Sanusi.
1860s-1890s The Saud family moved to exile in Kuwait when the Ottoman Empire conquered much of Arabia.
1865 Faisal bin Turki, the successor of Turki, died. He won control of most of Nejd and Hasa by the time of his death.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1880 Sadiq Bey, an Egyptian army colonel, took the first known photographs of Mecca and Medina. He traveled extensively between 1860-1880 and kept itineraries of his travels. The photos were sold to the Saudi government in 1998.
1883 May 20, Faisal ibn Husayn (d.1933), the 3rd son of the grand sherif of Mecca, was born in Mecca. He later became 1st king of Syria (1920) and Iraq (1921).
1891 Muhammad bin Rashid, a tribal leader in Hail, captured Riyadh. Rashid had already taken much of Saud territory and concluded a pact with Turkey. Abdul Rahman bin Faisal, leader of the Al Saud family, was forced to
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1901 Dec, Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) left Kuwait with some 40 friends with plans to attack Riyadh.
1902 Jan, Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) made an assault on Masmak fort and recaptured Riyadh.
(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1902 Saud ibn Abdul-Aziz, son of ibn-Saud and brother of Faisal was born. He ruled Saudi Arabia from 1953-1964.
1904 Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz (d.1975) later king Saudi Arabia, was born.
Abdul Aziz regained control of the Nejd region.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1906-1926 Saudi forces captured the Al Hasa, Asir and Al Hijaz regions, unifying much of Arabia under Saudi
(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1906 Abdul Aziz regained control of the Hasa region.
1908 Sep 1, The first railway in modern Saudi Arabia, the Hejaz railway from Jordan's border to Medina, reached Medina. This narrow gauge railway was shut down in 1915.
1908 Hussein (1854-1931) became Emir of Mecca and continued to 1917 when he proclaimed himself King of Hejaz, which received international recognition. He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the
increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the First World War.
(Econ, 3/19/11, p.93)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein_bin_Ali,_Sharif_of_Mecca)
1916 May 9, The
Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret understanding between the governments of Britain and France defining their respective spheres of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East. The boundaries of this agreement still remains in much of the common border between Syria and Iraq. Britain and France carved up the Levant into an assortment of monarchies, mandates and emirates. The
agreement enshrined Anglo-French imperialist ambitions at the end of WW II. Syria and Lebanon were put into the French orbit, while Britain claimed Jordan, Iraq, the Gulf states and the Palestinian Mandate. Sir Mark Sykes (d.1919 at age 39) and Francois Picot made the deal.
1916 Jun 10, Mecca, under control of the Turks, fell to the Arabs during the Great Arab Revolt. Sharif Hussein, Arab Emir of Mecca, led the revolt.
(HN, 6/10/98)(ON, 10/05, p.7)
1916 Oct, T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) met with Feisal Hussain for the 1st time.
1916 Nov, T.E. Lawrence was assigned as the British liaison to Arab Prince Feisal Hussain.
Jul 2, An Arab army led by Feisal Hussein and Bedouin chief Auda Abu Taiya fought Turkish forces at Aqaba killing 300 and capturing 160 Turkish soldiers.
(ON, 10/05, p.8)
1917 Jul 6,
During World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.
1918 Sep 27, Arab forces attacked and seized Deraa
(ON, 10/05, p.8)
1918 Oct 1, The main Arab force entered Damascus (Syria).
1918 Arab Prince Feisal took control of Syria.
(ON, 10/05, p.9)
Lawrence of Arabia blew up the Hijaz railway line in Saudi Arabia.
(Econ, 4/25/09, p.70)
1921 The Ikhwan fighters under Abdul Aziz took the Jebelshammar
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)(WSJ, 1/7/02, p.A10)
1921 Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence promoted "the sherifian solution," under which the Hashemite family- Hussein, the sherif of Mecca, and his
sons, would rule over the region under Britain's eye.
(Econ, 7/19/03, p.69)
1921 At the Cairo Conference Britain and France carved up Arabia and created Jordan under Emir Abdullah; his brother Faisal
became King of Iraq. France was given influence over Syria and Jewish immigration was allowed into Palestine.
(HNQ, 6/20/99)(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.D3)
1923 King Fahd was born in
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1924 Mar 3, Kemal Ataturk forced the abolition of the Muslim caliphate through the protesting assembly and banned all Kurdish schools, publications and
associations. This ended the Ottoman Empire and created the modern Middle East, though Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia were still colonies of Britain and France.
(WSJ, 2/11/99, p.A24)(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.A3)
Oct, The Kingdom of the Hijaz (later Saudi Arabia) was short lived with King Hussain abdicating in favor of his son Ali. Hussain was exiled to Cyprus, eventually dying in Amman in 1930. Ali himself departed the Hijaz in December 1925.
1924 Ibn Saud, king of the Nejd, conquered Hussein's kingdom of Hijaz and launched Wahhabi rule over Saudi Arabia.
1924-1926 Abdul Aziz took Makkah, Madina and Asir.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
Jan, Abdul Aziz was declared King of Hejaz and the Sultan of Nejd and its Dependencies.
1927 Jan, Abdul Aziz became King of Hejaz, Nejd
and its Dependencies.
1927 May 20, Saudi Arabia became independent of Great Britain with the Treaty of
1927-1928 King Abd al-Aziz crushed an uprising be fanatical Islamist tribes of central Arabia.
1931 Mohammad bin Laden immigrated to Saudi Arabia from Yemen. He established a construction business and built close ties with the king.
1931 Osama bin Laden was born in Jidda to a Syrian mother. He was the 17th of 51 children of Muhammad bin Laden, a baggage carrier, who left Yemen in 1931. Muhammad and his brothers were the founders of a prosperous construction company. In 2004 Jonathan Randal authored “Osama: The Making of a
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.B9)(WSJ, 9/2/04, p.D16)
1932 Sep 22, The government of the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd officially changed its name to Saudi
1932 Sep 23, In 2005 King Abdullah established this day as the official unification date of Saudi Arabia and made it an official
(Econ, 10/2/10, p.49)
1932 Nov 23, The kingdoms of Nejd and Hejaz merged to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud. Abdul Aziz (d.1953) proclaimed the unified
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was named after King Ibn Saud, founder of the Saudi dynasty. Abdul Aziz al-Saud fathered 44 sons.
(SFC, 9/1/96, Z1 p.2)(SFEC, 8/23/98, p.A15)(SFC, 5/26/00, p.D3)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)(AP, 11/23/02)
1932 Dec 22, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed.
1933 May, Saudi Arabia gave Standard Oil of California
exclusive rights to explore for oil. Socal formed the California Arabian Standard Oil Co. to drill for oil in Saudi Arabia.
(www.chevron.com)(SFC, 10/20/04, p.C6)
1936 Jan, Standard Oil of California
found some gas and oil at their 1st Saudi Arabia test well, Damman No. 1.
1936 Mar 3, Standard Oil of California struck oil at Damman No 7. Aramco made the first commercial oil find
in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The English Arabist, H. St. John Philby, orchestrated the Aramco concession in Saudi Arabia.
(HN, 3/15/98)(WSJ, 3/8/99, p.A16)(SFEC, 6/27/99, p.T3)(www.chevron.com)
Texas Co. joined Standard Oil in Saudi Arabia. The joint venture eventually became the Saudi oil giant Aramco.
(SFC, 10/20/04, p.C6)
1938 Norman Lewis (d.2003), British travel writer, authored "Sand
and Sea in Arabia."
(SFC, 7/26/03, p.A22)
1945 Feb 14, Saudi King Abd al-Aziz and Franklin D. Roosevelt met on a ship in the Suez Canal and reached an understanding whereby the US would protect the
Saudi royal family in return for preferred access to Saudi oil. William Eddy, US minister to Saudi Arabia, arranged the meeting.
(WSJ, 10/4/01, p.A1)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.102)(http://tinyurl.com/5a3c49)
Mar 22, The Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt. Saudi Arabia became a founding member of the UN and the Arab League.
(AP, 3/22/97)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
The family-owned Olayan Group was founded in Saudi Arabia and grew to became one of the country’s largest private conglomerates.
(WSJ, 1/16/08, p.A10)
1948 May 18, Arab Legion
captured the fort on Mount Scopus.
1948 May 18, Saudi Arabia joined the invasion of Israel.
1951 Oct 20, Saudi Arabia’s modern railway was inaugurated. It was initially run by Saudi oil company, Aramco, but subsequently transferred to the state and since 1968 has been operated as a public corporation and was extended to the capital, Riyadh.
1951 Saudi Arabia put the Ghawar oil field into production. It measured 20 miles wide and 175 miles long and was the largest oil field ever found.
1953 Prince Fahd was appointed as the 1st Education Minister.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1953 King Abdul Aziz died. He was the founder of modern Saudi Arabia and fathered a total of 44 sons before his death. Aziz was succeeded by King Saud who ruled to 1964.
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-10)(WSJ, 10/22/01, p.A18)
1953-1964 King Saud ruled.
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-10)
1956 Feb 18, The US lifted its arms ban and shipped tanks to Saudi
(EWH, 1968, p.1241)
1960 Sep 14, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed OPEC. Fuad Rouhani (1907-2004) of Iran served as its 1st secretary-general. In 1964 he was succeeded by
Abdul Rahman Bazzaz of Iraq.
(HN, 9/14/98)(WSJ, 7/28/03, p.A8)
1962 May 3, William A, Eddy (b.1896), former US minister to Saudi Arabia (1944-1946), died. In 2008 Thomas W. Lippman authored “Arabian
Knight: Colonel Bill Eddy, USMC, and the Rise of American Power in the Middle East.”
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.102)
1962 Nov 6, Saudi Arabia abolished slavery.
1963 Prince Fahd was appointed as the Interior Minister.
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1964 Nov 2, Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud (1904-1975) succeeded his older brother Saud bin Abdul Aziz as king of Saudi Arabia.
1964-1975 King Faisal ruled.
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-10)
1965 Prince Fahd was appointed as the 2nd Deputy Prime
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1965 Television arrive in Saudi Arabia. It caused riots until senior clerics grasped that they could use it to promote their
(Econ, 1/7/06, Survey p.9)
1965-1966 King Faisal bin Abd al-Aziz defied Islamist opposition and introduced women’s education and television. There were 70 female university students in Saudi Arabia. In 2001 the
number reached 200,000, 54% of the student population.
(WSJ, 1/2/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/30/04, p.A7)
1966 In Egypt Sayed Qutb (b.1906), intellectual godfather of radical Islam, was executed by Pres. Nasser.
Qutb had earlier written: "A Muslim has no nationality except his belief." He denounced western hedonism and the decadence of Muslim regimes. Qutb had spent some time in the US (1948-1951) and authored the 1951 essay “The America I Have Seen.” His brother Muhammad went into exile in Saudi Arabia where he taught at King Abdul Aziz Univ. Osama bin Laden was one of his
(WSJ, 3/22/04, p.A18)(Econ, 2/4/06, p.24)(Sm, 2/06, p.100)
1967 June 2, Three bombs, one a car bomb, went off in the Saudi seaport town of Jidda. One outside the US Embassy, one at Grove
Int'l, an American construction comp., and one at the US Military Training Mission.
(WSJ, 12/26/95, p. A-7)
1967 Sep 3, Muhammad Bin Laden, a Yemeni immigrant to Saudi Arabia, died in a plane crash. He
left King Faisal in charge of his ~50 children.
(NW, 11/19/01, p.35)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_bin_Laden)
1972 Kamal Helbawy, a London-based Egyptian and speaker on behalf of the Muslim
Brotherhood, was invited to Saudi Arabia to set up the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).
(Econ, 2/4/06, p.24)
1973 Oct 17, Arab oil-producing nations announced they would begin cutting back on oil
exports to Western nations and Japan; the result was a total embargo that lasted until March 1974.
(WSJ, 11/4/96, p.C1)(AP, 10/17/97)
1973 Nov 19, Saudi Arabia, Libya and other Arab states proclaimed a
total ban on oil exports to the United States. Gasoline prices quadrupled from twenty-five cents per gallon to over one dollar. The New York stock market took its sharpest drop in 19 years.
1973 Oct 16, OPEC, the Arab oil-producing nations, announced they would begin cutting back on oil exports to Western nations and Japan. The next day, the five Arab members of the OPEC committee were joined in Kuwait by the oil ministers of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The result was a total embargo
that lasted until March 1974 and caused oil prices to quadruple.
(www.harvardir.org/articles/1659/)(AP, 10/17/97)(WSJ, 7/28/03, p.A8)
1975 Mar 25, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a
nephew with a history of mental illness. The nephew was beheaded the following June.
1963 Prince Fahd became Crown Prince and Deputy Prime
(NW, 11/26/01, p.SAS)
1975 Mar 25, King Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz (68) of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. The nephew was beheaded the following June.
In 2008 Joseph A. Kechichian authored “Faisal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons.” In 2013 Alexei Vassiliev authored “King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality, Faith and Times.” (AP, 3/25/00)(Econ, 10/04/08, p.92)(Econ, 1/26/12, p.74)
1975 Jun 18, Faisal Ibn Mussed
Abdul Aziz, Saudi prince, was beheaded in a Riyadh shopping center parking lot for killing his uncle the king.
1975 Dec 21, There was a terrorist kidnapping of Saudi oil
minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani and other ministers at the OPEC gathering in Vienna, Austria. Three people were killed and 11 taken hostage. The oil ministers were taken to North Africa in a hijacked plane in a $1 billion ransom drama. Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, later admitted to planning the attack. In 2001 Germany sentenced Hans-Joachim Klein to 9 years for his role in the
attack. Klein had accused Sonja Suder of recruiting him to take part in the bloody Vienna siege. In 2013 Suder was acquitted of having helped Carlos in the OPEC attack. She was found guilty of having aided in three non-deadly explosives and arson attacks in Germany in the late 1970s.
(WSJ, 12/4/95, p.B-1)(SFC,12/11/97,
p.C2)(SFC, 2/16/01, p.D2)(AFP, 11/12/13)
1975 Saudi Arabia began nationalizing foreign oil assets with full compensation.
(WSJ, 10/4/01, p.A1)
1975 Jubail was designated as a site for a new industrial city by the Saudi government, and has seen rapid expansion and industrialization since.
King Khaled ruled.
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-10)
1977 Feb 24, Pres. Carter announced the US was cutting off all military aid to Ethiopia because of its human rights violations. The unstated
reason was the US desire to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to lure Somalia from the Soviet camp, an effort which was ultimately successful.
Prince Turki al-Faisal was promoted to head of the General Intelligence Directorate. He resigned in 2001.
(WSJ, 10/22/01, p.A18)
1978 Fred Dutton (1923-2005), Washington counsel and lobbyist for Saudi
Arabia, helped get US congressional approval for a major arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 6/28/05, p.B5)
1979 Apr 4, Bechtel Corp. announced that it had won a contract to manage construction of a
115-square-mile airport for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The cost was estimated a $3 billion.
(SFC, 4/2/04, p.F3)
1979 Apr 11, Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by
Tanzanian forces seized control of Kampala. Amin escaped to Libya and settled into exile in Saudi Arabia.
(AP, 4/11/97)(SFC, 10/15/99, p.D7)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idi_Amin)
1979 May 20, Helen
Smith (b.1956), a British nurse, died after reportedly fall from a balcony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The bodies of Helen and Johannes Otten (35), a Dutch tugboat captain, were found in the street 70 feet below a sixth floor balcony. Helen was found lying in the road fully clothed and Johannes, whose underpants were around his thighs, was impaled upon the spiked railings surrounding the apartment
block. Helen’s father, Ron Smith, did not allow her burial because he did not believe official Saudi and British reports that the death was an accident. He believed his daughter was murdered and that her body could provide forensic evidence to expose a cover up. In 2009 Smith and his exwife decided to cremate their daughter before they both died.
1979 Nov 16, Some 200 armed men and women, Mahadiists, seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca. They denounced the monarchy and demanded an end to corrupting modernization and "foreign
ways." Saudi preacher Juhayman al Uteybi led the radicals. French special forces shot dead all the Wahhabi extremists.
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.C3)(WSJ, 11/12/03, p.A18)(WSJ, 9/18/07, p.A8)
1979 Dec 4, In
Saudi Arabia security forces overran the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which had been seized on Nov 16. One of two African-American converts, who had participated in the takeover of the mosque, was killed. The other was later released and returned to the US. In 2007 Yaroslav Trofinov authored “The Siege of Mecca.”
1979 Osama bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan, where he laid the groundwork for his al-Qaeda network.
1980 Jan 9, Saudi Arabia beheaded 63 people in towns across the country for their roles in the November 1979 raid on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
(AP, 1/9/00)(SSFC, 10/21/01,
1980 Aug 19, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency landing at the Riyadh airport.
1981 Apr 21, Pres. Reagan called for support for the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia. The proposed AWACS sale was just the beginning of a secret $50 billion plan to build surrogate military bases in Saudi Arabia.
1981 May 25, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004), United Arab Emirates President, urged in 5 other Arab monarchies (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) to form the Gulf
Cooperation Council. The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Riyadh.
(Econ, 11/20/04, p.90)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Cooperation_Council)
1981 Oct 28, The US Senate voted for the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia. Fred Dutton (1923-2005), Washington counsel and lobbyist for Saudi Arabia, helped get US congressional approval for a 2nd major arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
1981 Prince Fahd of Saudi Arabia proposed an 8-point peace plan to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was adopted by the Arab League after some controversy.
1982 Jun 13, King Khalid of Saudi Arabia died at the age of 69; he was succeeded by a half brother, Crown Prince Fahd.
(WSJ, 1/9/96, p.A-10)(AP, 6/13/02)
1982 Adnan Khashoggi, an arms dealer from Saudi Arabia, settled divorce proceedings with his wife Soraya for $950 million plus property.
1983 Nov 25, Syria and Saudi Arabia announced a cease-fire in PLO civil war in Tripoli.
1983 In Saudi Arabia the King Khalid Int'l. Airport opened in Riyadh and was touted as the largest in the world. One of the terminals was mothballed at opening and remained so in
(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A1)(Econ, 4/26/08, p.15)
1983 Sulaiman Al Rajhi and his brother Saleh won permission to open Saudi Arabia’s first Islamic bank. They had begun changing money for traders and
pilgrims in the 1940s. In 2007 Sulaiman Al Rajhi’s fortune was estimated at $12 billion and the Al-Rajhi Bank was the largest Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia.
(WSJ, 1/26/07, p.A1)
1983-2005 Prince Bandar bin Sultan served
as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington. In 2006 William Simpson authored “The Prince: The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan” (www.saudiembassy.net/Country/Government/BandarBio.asp).
(Econ, 12/2/06, p.86)
1984 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAR) agreed on the creation of a two-brigade (10,000 troops) Peninsula Shield Force, based in Saudi Arabia near the Kuwaiti and Iraqi borders.
1985 Britain under PM Thatcher signed an $80 billion contract with Saudi Arabia to provide 120 fighter jets and other military equipment over a period of 20 years. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to
the US, helped negotiate the deal.
(SFC, 6/8/07, p.A16)
1986 Apr 1, World oil prices dipped below $10 a barrel.
1987 Jul 31, Iranian pilgrims and riot police clashed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government blamed Iranians for the resulting 402 deaths.
1987 Aug 1, Iranians attacked the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti embassies in Tehran as word spread of rioting in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a day earlier that claimed some 400 lives, most of them Iranian pilgrims.
1987 Aug 25, Saudi Arabia denounced Iran's government as a "group of terrorists," and said its forces would deal firmly with any Iranian attempts to attack the Saudis' Muslim holy places or vast oil
1988 Saudi-born Osama bin Laden founded al Qaida (the base), a Sunni fundamentalist operational hub for terrorist activities. The organization’s intent was to establish an Islamic
caliphate throughout the world.
(SFC, 8/28/98, p.A3)(SSFC, 7/30/06, p.A10)
1989 Jan 12, Idi Amin was expelled from Zaire (later CongoDRC) and forced to return to Saudi
1989 Jul 9, Two bombs explode in Mecca, killing one pilgrim, wounding 16. Saudi authorities blame Iranian-inspired terrorists and later beheaded 16
Kuwaiti Shiite Muslims for bombings. Iran denied involvement.
1989 Rafik Hariri financed a gathering of Lebanese politicians at the Saudi city of Taif to hammer out a deal to disband
militias and distribute power more equitably. The Taif Agreement maintained sectarian divisions in government and led to the end of the civil war. It stipulated that Syria withdraw its troops to the border and leave within 2 years.
(SFC, 9/28/98, p.A10)(SFC, 4/4/02, p.A13)(Econ, 2/19/05,
1989 The $140 million King Fahd Cultural Center was completed on the outskirts of Riyadh. It has never been opened to the public and was maintained by a fulltime staff of 180 people.
1990 Jul 2, Some 1402 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It was worst hajj tragedy of modern times.
1990 Aug 7, President Bush ordered U.S. troops and warplanes to Saudi Arabia to guard the oil-rich desert kingdom against a possible invasion by Iraq. The US Persian Gulf War began. Operation Desert Shield ended Feb 28, 1991. It cost $8.1 billion and left 383
US casualties with 458 wounded.
(AP, 8/7/99)(WSJ, 9/22/99, p.A8)(MC, 8/7/02)
1990 Aug 8, As the Persian Gulf crisis deepened, American forces began taking up positions in Saudi Arabia; Iraq announced
it had annexed Kuwait as its 19th province; President Bush warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that "a line has been drawn in the sand."
(AP, 8/8/00)(MC, 8/8/02)
1990 Aug 11, Egyptian and Moroccan
troops arrived in Saudi Arabia to join US forces in helping to protect the desert kingdom from possible Iraqi attack.
1990 Aug, 540,000 American troops assembled to drive Iraqi forces
(WP. 6/29/96, p.A22)
1990 Sep 22, Saudi Arabia expelled most of the Yemeni and Jordanian envoys in Riyadh, accusing them of unspecified "activities jeopardizing the peace and security of
1990 Nov 6, In Saudi Arabia a group of women got into cars and drove the streets of Riyadh in defiance of a government ban. The protest, which made headlines around the
world, cost the 47 female drivers and passengers dearly. They were arrested, lost their jobs for 2 1/2 years, were banned from travel for a year and were condemned by the powerful clergy as harlots. The led interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz to ban women from driving.
1990 Nov 21, President Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia, where he conferred with Saudi King Fahd and Kuwait's exiled emir.
1990 Yemen’s refusal to endorse military action against Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait so annoyed the governments of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that they expelled a million Yemeni migrant workers, costing the country huge sums in remittances.
(Econ, 7/23/11, p.45)
1991 Jan 17, On the first day of Operation Desert Storm, US-led forces hammered Iraqi targets in an effort to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. A defiant Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared that the "mother of all battles" had
begun. Iraq attacked Israel with ten Scud missiles. The US Patriot defense missile was used in battle for the first time to shoot down a Scud fired at Saudi Arabia.
1991 Jan 22, During
the Gulf War, Iraq fired six Scud missiles into Saudi Arabia; all were either intercepted, or fell into unpopulated areas. However, in Tel Aviv, a Scud eluded the Patriot missile defense system and struck the city, resulting in three deaths.
1991 Jan 24, A brief skirmish occurred high above the Persian Gulf as a Saudi warplane shot down two Iraqi jets.
Jan 29, Iraqi forces attacked into Saudi Arabian town of Kafji, but were turned back by Coalition forces.
1991 Jan 30, The first major ground battle of the Gulf War was
fought at the frontier port of Khafji in Saudi Arabia; eleven US Marines were killed, seven of them by "friendly fire."
1991 Jan 31, During the Gulf War, Army Specialist Melissa
Rathbun-Nealy and Army Specialist David Lockett were captured by Iraqi forces near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border; both were eventually released. Allied forces claimed victory against Iraqi attackers at Khafji, Saudi Arabia.
1991 Feb 23, French forces unofficially started the Persian Gulf ground war by crossing the Saudi-Iraqi border. Lessons learned in the savage 1972 Eastertide Offensive paid off at the Battle of Khafji in the Gulf War almost two decades later.
1991 Feb 25, During the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
1991 Mar 24, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the American commander of Operation Desert Storm, told reporters in Saudi Arabia the United States was closer to establishing a permanent military headquarters on Arab
1991 Apr 29, US troops continued airlifting Iraqi refugees from a camp in southern Iraq to Saudi Arabia.
1991 Jul 11, A Nigerian Airlines jet carrying Muslim pilgrims crashed at the Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, int'l airport, killing all 261 people on board. The plane was a Canadian-chartered DC-8.
7/11/97)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1991 Khalid bin Sultan was the commander of the Saudi military forces during the Gulf war. He later became the principal owner of Al-Hayat, an Arabic language daily published in London.
(SFC, 1/4/97, p.A3)
1991 A Saudi businessman started the 1st independent Arabic news and entertainment channel, the London-based Middle East Broadcasting Co.
1992 Sep 11, President Bush announced he was approving the sale of 72 F-15 jet fighters to Saudi Arabia.
1992 In Saudi Arabia King Fahd decreed a basic law that for the 1st time outlined an institutional structure for the country. A law was passed that allowed the king to name any of his brothers or nephews as a successor, and to replace him at will.
(WSJ, 9/25/02, p.A11)(Econ, 1/7/06, Survey p.6)
1992 A team of investigators announced the discovery of he long lost Arabian city of Ubar, which had disappeared around the early 6th century. George Hedges (1952-2009), a Hollywood litigator, and filmmaker Nicholas
Clapp, participated in the find. Clapp later authored “The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands” (1999).
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A12)
1993 Saudi wheat production, part of a self-sufficiency
program, grew from a few thousand tons on the mid 1970s to 4.5 million tons. The production was having a negative impact on water reserves and production was cut.
(SFC, 3/29/97, p.A10)(Econ, 5/23/09, p.62)
May 23, Some 270 pilgrims, most of them Indonesian, were killed in a stampede in Mecca as worshippers surge toward cavern for symbolic ritual of "stoning the devil."
The Saudis chose AT&T for a $4 billion telecommunications project.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-10)
1994 The Saudi family of Osama bin Laden disowned him. The Binladin Group later
invested with the Washington-based Carlyle Group, which also employed George Bush Sr.
(NW, 11/19/01, p.35)
1994 In Saudi Arabia Osama Bin Laden, the scion of a wealthy Saudi family, was stripped of his Saudi citizenship. He financed a host of
hardline groups from Egypt to Algeria. His fortune was estimated at $250 mil.
(SFC, 8/14/96, p.A10,12)
1994 Safar al-Hawaly and Salman al-Awdeh, religious militants and critics of the government, were
(SFC, 8/15/96, p.C3)
1994-1996 The BBC ran an Arabic language satellite TV service from a Saudi-backed company called Orbit. It ended after Saudi’s objected to the BBC’s
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.57)
1995 Nov 13, A car bomb killed 7 people, including five Americans, and injured about 60 at a military training facility in Riyadh, Saudi
(WSJ, 10/14/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 6/27/96, p.A10)(SFEC, 11/10/96, p.T5)(AP, 11/13/00)
1995 Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz has been in charge of the 80,000 man national guard since the early
(WSJ, 10/14/95, p.A-11)
1995 A record 192 people were beheaded.
1996 May 31, Four Saudi citizens were beheaded for the bombing of a US facility last Nov 13. The explosion shattered the Saudi Arabian National Guard training center, and killed 5 Americans and 2 Indians. [the date doesn't seem to
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 May, Osama bin Laden was driven out of Sudan under pressure from the Clinton administration. His horse, “Swift Like the Wind,” was left behind. He had lived there for
some years running a construction company and allegedly recruiting and training terrorists. Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, a Saudi Arabian-backed jihadist leader, invited bin Laden back to Afghanistan and bin Laden returned.
(SFC, 8/21/98, p.A2)(SFC, 12/17/04, p.W4)(Econ, 9/17/05, p.40)(WSJ, 8/21/98,
1996 Jun 4, The Saudi debt load is already equal to about $100 bil.
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A12)
1996 Jun 25, At least 19 Americans were killed at a US base near Dhahran. Another 105 suffered serious injuries from a truck bomb estimated at 5,000 pounds at the Khobar Towers apartment complex adjacent to King Abdul Aziz Air Base. About 5,000 US troops served in Saudi Arabia. US, French and British aircraft resumed flying 100 missions per day over southern
Iraq from Saudi Arabia. In 1997 intelligence information tied a senior Iranian intelligence officer to Hani Abd Rahim Sayegh, a man who fled Saudi Arabia shortly after the bombing. In 1999 the US threatened was set to deport Hani al-Sayegh to Saudi Arabia. Sayegh feared torture and asked for US asylum. Sayegh was deported Oct 10. In 2000 Ahmad Behbahani told a 60 Minutes journalist from a refugee
camp in Turkey that he proposed the Pan Am operation and coordinated the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. In 2001 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man were indicted for the bombing that killed 19 American airmen and wounded nearly 400 others. In 2006 a US judge ruled that Iran financed the bombing and owes families of those killed $254
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A22)(SFEC, 4/13/97, p.A14)(WSJ, 10/5/99, p.A10)(SFC, 10/12/99, p.C16)(SFC, 6/5/00, p.A9)(SFC, 6/22/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/23/06, p.A1)
1996 Jun 25, Later reports said that Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi billionaire, bankrolled
the bombing of the US base that killed 19 US servicemen. He was an advocate of strict Islamic rule and had said that he would campaign to overthrow the Saudi royal family. He had lived in the Sudan for 5 1/2 years and recently moved to Afghanistan and was accepted by the Taliban. In 1998 a senior Saudi official absolved Iran of any involvement in the bombing. In 2000 it was reported that the Bin
Laden family firm was awarded the contract to rebuild the Khobar Towers.
(SFC, 3/7/97, p.A17)(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A12)(SFC, 11/18/00, p.A12)
1996 Dec, Yvonne Gilford (55), an Australian nurse, was stabbed
and bludgeoned to death at the King Fahd Military Medical Center in Dammam. Two other nurses, Deborah Parry (38) and Lucille McLaughlan (30) were accused of the murder. Their sentences were commuted and the accused nurses were released May 20, 1998. McLaughlan faced charges in Scotland of stealing $2,800 from a dying AIDS patient in 1996 before leaving for Saudi
(SFC, 9/26/97, p.A14)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.A19)
1996 Dec, Abdul-Karim Naqshabandi, a foreign worker, was executed after refusing to falsely testify against another employer. His employer, a nephew
of the king, demanded his death on false charges of witchcraft.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1996 Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd (73) ceded power to his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, who is considered to be
more of a traditionalist.
(WSJ, 1/2/96, p. A-1)
1996 The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan recognized the Taliban after they seized the Afghan capital Kabul. All three countries cut ties
with the Taliban after it sheltered al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US.
1997 Mar 2, Saudi Arab billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal acquired
5% of Apple.
1997 Apr 15, In Saudi Arabia at least 343 Muslim pilgrims died in a fire on a plain outside the holy city of Mecca and injured 1290. The fires stemmed from cooking gas
canisters. Aid workers and diplomats said the death toll was at least 500.
(SFC, 4/16/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/16/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/17/97, p.A1)(AP, 4/15/98)(AP, 2/1/04)
1997 Dec 18, It was reported the Prince
Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was building a 984-foot structure called "The Kingdom Centre" in central Riyadh at a cost of $427 million.
(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A1)
1998 Mar, Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Mexico began talking to reduce oil output. They pledged to take 2-3% of the world's oil production off the market in what came to be called the Riyadh Pact.
(WSJ, 6/23/98, p.A1)
Apr 9, In Saudi Arabia it was reported that 2.3 million Muslims made the pilgrimage, hajj, to Mecca this year. Over 150 pilgrims died at the "stoning of the devil" ritual during a stampede that occurred on the last day of the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 4/9/98, p.A10)(SFC,
4/10/98, p.A14)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A9)(AP, 4/9/08)
1998 Jun 4, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela agreed to cuts in oil production and exports for the 2nd time this year in order to raise prices.
1998 Jun, Prince Turki al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, chief of Saudi intelligence, negotiated with the Taliban in Kandahar for the ouster or custody for trial in Saudi Arabia of Osama bin Laden. Negotiations broke down after the Aug 7 US embassy bombings in
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.A15)
1998 Jul 20, Saudi Arabia attacked a Yemeni island in the Red Sea and killed 3 guards. 3 islands and parts of the Empty Quarter, a vast desert with potential for oil, were
(SFEC, 7/21/98, p.A7)
1998 Saudi Arabia, in response to a massive outbreak of rift-valley fever, imposed a trade ban to prevent nomadic herders from selling sheep and goats for
sacrifice during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The government opted to buy more expensive Australian livestock instead.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.80)
1998 The Saudi population was about 12 million. In 2006 it
reached 23 million. The forecast for 2020 was 33 million.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A12)(Econ, 1/7/06, Survey p.12)
1999 Mar 19, Saudi Arabia permitted some 18,000 destitute Iraqis to cross the border for the
annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
(SFC, 3/20/99, p.A8)
1999 Jun 27, It was reported that Saudi Arabia had recently opened its borders to upscale travel groups.
(SFEC, 6/27/99, p.T3)
1999 Aug 21, Prince Faisal bin Fahd, the eldest son of King Fahd, died of a heart attack at age 54. He headed the Arab Sports Federation and had just returned from the Arab Games in
(SFEC, 8/22/99, p.D5)
1999 Nov 27, Yemeni military sources reported that 2 Yemeni soldiers had been killed over the last few days in border clashes with Saudi
(SFEC, 11/28/99, p.A26)
1999 Dec 9, The first day of Ramadan. In Saudi Arabia a young man was scheduled to be beheaded by this day unless the family of a man he killed, while performing the
mizmar dance, receive some $1.3 million in blood money.
(SFC, 12/6/99, p.A13)
1999 Anthony Cave Brown published "Oil, God, and Gold: The Story of Aramco and the Saudi
(WSJ, 3/8/99, p.A16)
1999 Saudi police arrested Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal and jailed him for 14 months for maintaining contact with Osama bin Laden. He was then deported to
(SFC, 11/26/03, p.A10)
2000 Jun 12, Saudi Arabia and Yemen signed an agreement to end decades of border disputes.
2000 Oct 14, A Saudi jetliner was hijacked with over 100 people and landed in Baghdad. 2 hijackers were arrested.
(SFEC, 10/15/00, p.A10)
2000 Nov 8, Saudi Arabia opened its border with Iraq and signed export contracts to nearly $600 million under exceptions to US sanctions.
(WSJ, 11/8/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 17, A car bomb in Riyadh killed Christopher Rodway, a British technician. In 2001 3 Westerners were arrested in connection with the bombing.
(SFC, 11/18/00, p.A12)(SFC, 2/5/01, p.A10)
2000 Nov 22, In Riyadh an explosion hit a car and injured 3 British citizens. In 2001 3 Westerners were arrested in connection with the bombing.
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D8)(SFC, 2/5/01, p.A10)
2000 Nov 22, Yemen identified the bombers of the USS Cole as 2 Saudi Arabian citizens with Yemeni family roots. One was named Abdul Mohsen al-Taifi and both had suspected ties to Osama bin Laden.
(SFC, 11/23/00, p.A22)
2000 Dec 31, Six Persian Gulf nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) signed a regional defense pact.
(SFC, 1/1/01, p.A10)
2001 Jan 26, A UN panel criticized Saudi Arabia for discriminating against women, harassing minors and for punishments that included flogging and stoning.
(SFC, 1/27/01, p.C16)
2001 Jan, Abdulaziz al-Kohaji, engineering student and son of a Saudi oilman, went missing from the Community College of Denver. His body was found in a landfill in Erie, 15 miles north of Denver, a month later and police said he had been taped to a chair and strangled before being thrown into a trash bin. Mishal
al-Suwaidi, Tariq al-Dossary and al-Yousif, suspects in the murder, were acquaintances of al-Kohaji and prosecutors said the motive was robbery. Suwaidi and Dossary fled to Saudi Arabia. Yousif was convicted in the US and sentenced to life. In 2004 the family of Kohaji pardoned the Suwaidi and Dossary and save them from execution.
2001 Mar 4, Muslim pilgrims climbed Mount Arafat as some 2 million gathered for the annual hajj to Mecca.
(WSJ, 3/5/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 5, Muslim pilgrims began the stoning of the three pillars symbolizing the devil as part of the annual hajj to Mecca. 35 people suffocated to death during the stoning of the devil ritual.
(WSJ, 3/5/01, p.A1)(SFC, 3/6/01,
2001 Mar 15, Chechen rebels hijacked a Russian plane with 174 people after it left Turkey. They forced a landing in Medina.
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A14)
2001 Mar 16, Saudi commandos freed over 100 hijacked hostages held by Chechen rebels. 3 people were killed including a hijacker, a flight attendant and a passenger.
(SFC, 3/17/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 25, The Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law claimed that Pokemon games and cards have "possessed the minds" of Saudi children.
(SFC, 3/27/01, p.F2)
2001 Apr 16, Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a pact to fight terrorism and drug trafficking.
(SFC, 4/18/01, p.A13)
Aug 4, In Florida an immigration official turned back Muhammed al-Kahtani (al-Qahtani), a Saudi who had flown in from London with $2,800 in cash and no return ticket. He was later captured in Afghanistan and detained at Guantanamo after officials suspected that he was the intended 20th hijacker for the Nov 11 attacks. In 2008 the Pentagon dropped charges against
(Econ, 2/16/08, p.39)(AP, 5/13/08)
2001 Aug 31, Prince Turki al-Faisal resigned as head of the General Intelligence Directorate and Prince Nawwaf took
(WSJ, 10/22/01, p.A18)
2001 Sep 13, A private Lear jet with 3 Saudi passengers flew from Tampa, Fla., to Lexington, Ky., as part of an effort to help prominent Saudis, who feared reprisals over
the Sep 11 attack by al-Qaida in NYC.
(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.A1)
2001 Sep 14-24, Six chartered flights carrying mostly Saudi nationals departed from the US. [see Sep
(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.A4)
2001 Sep 20, A chartered flight left the US with members of the sprawling bin Laden family. The FBI interviewed 22 of the 26 people
(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.A4)
2001 Sep 23, The 6-member Persian "Gulf Cooperation Council" (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAR) met in Jidda and pledged support for an int'l. coalition
(SFC, 9/24/01, p.A7)
2001 Sep 25, Saudi Arabia withdrew diplomatic recognition of the Afghan Taliban government.
(SFC, 9/26/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 6, A bomb exploded in Khobar. 2 people were killed and 4 were injured.
(SSFC, 10/7/01, p.A17)
2001 Oct 15, It was reported that Sheik Hamoud bin Uqlaa al-Shuaibi (80), a militant Wahhabi, called on Muslims to wage jihad on supporters of the US military action in Afghanistan.
2001 Oct 31, The Bush administration said the Saudi government has issued an order to freeze assets of people and groups suspected of links to terrorism.
2001 At Washington’s request the UN Security Council ordered that the assets of Yassin Qadi, a Saudi businessman and multimillionaire, be frozen soon after the Sep 11 attacks in NYC. He was alleged to be a financier of Islamic terrorism with close links to
al-Qaida. The EU froze the assets of Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi businessman, and the Al-Barakaat International Foundation, a Sweden-based charity suspected of funding al-Qaida terror groups. In 2008 the EU's highest court overturned the decision saying the order failed to offer those on a terror blacklist any legal rights to a judicial review under European law. Also frozen were the assets of Omar
Mohammed Othman, also known as Abu Qatada, an extremist Muslim preacher from Jordan. In 2009 an EU court voided the freeze on Othman due to lack of proper judicial review. Othman has lived in Britain since 1993, has been arrested several times there under anti-terrorist legislation and currently faced deportation to Jordan.
8/29/07, p.A1)(AP, 9/3/08)(AP, 6/11/09)
2002 Jan 4, A WSJ editorial by former US Army officer Ralph Peters blamed Saudi Arabia as the source of fundamentalist terrorism. "We must be prepared to seize the Saudi oil fields and administer them for the greater
(WSJ, 1/4/02, p.A12)
2002 Jan 13, Muslim scholars concluded a 6-day conference in Mecca and issued a definition of terrorism as: "all acts of aggression committed by individuals, groups or
states against human beings, including attacks on their religion, life, intellect or property.
(WSJ, 1/14/02, p.A12)
2002 Jan, Saudi Arabia began the demolition of the 222-year-old Al Ajyad Ottoman
fortress on Bulbul Mountain in Mecca. A $120 million hotel complex was planned. The demolition angered Turkey and destruction was halted.
(WSJ, 1/10/02, p.A9)
2002 Feb 17, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah
presented a Middle East peace plan to NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman. It included Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist if Israel pulled back from lands that were once part of Jordan, including East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
(SFC, 2/26/02, p.A1)
2002 Feb 19, In Saudi Arabia some 2 million Muslims gathered in Mecca for the annual hajj.
(SFC, 2/20/02, p.A11)
Mar 7, Doctors in Saudi Arabia reported that the world's 1st uterus transplant lasted 99 days before it began to deteriorate.
(SFC, 3/7/02, p.A5)
2002 Mar, A fire at a girl's school
in Mecca killed 15 students.
(WSJ, 3/19/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 4, The UN released $995 million in compensation to Kuwait for Iraq's 1990 invasion. Most went to 1,058 individuals. Saudi Arabia received
$82.6 million and Jordan got $44.9.
(SFC, 4/5/02, p.A12)
2002 Apr 13, Ghazi Algosaibi, Saudi ambassador to Britain, published a poem in the Saudi daily Al Hayat titled "The Martyrs," in praise of
Ayat Akhras, the Mar 29 Palestinian suicide bomber.
(SFC, 4/16/02, p.A9)
2002 Apr 20, It was reported that recent flash flooding from torrential spring rains had killed at least 19
(SFC, 4/20/02, p.A24)
2002 Apr 25, Pres. Bush met with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, who told him bluntly that the US must temper its support of Israel. Abdullah gave Bush an 8-point proposal
for Middle East peace.
(SFC, 4/26/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr, The Saudi government cracked down on factories producing women's cloaks that violated religious
(SSFC, 5/5/02, p.A16)
2002 May, Saudi diplomats clashed with the UN Committee Against Torture over whether flogging and the amputation of limbs are violations of the 1987 Convention Against
(SSFC, 5/19/02, p.A18)
2002 Jun 11, Moroccan police arrested three Saudi nationals who were allegedly planning attacks against U.S. and British war ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. They were
identified as: Hilal Jaber al-Assiri, Abdellah Ali al-Ghamdi and Zuher al-Tbaiti.
2002 Jun 13, Pres. Bush met with Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal and indicated that he would support the
creation of a Palestinian state.
(SFC, 6/14/02, p.15)
2002 Jun 18, Saudi Arabia announced its first al-Qaida-related arrests since Sept. 11 and said it was holding 11 Saudis, an Iraqi and a Sudanese
man behind a plot to shoot down a U.S. military plane taking off from a Saudi air base.
(Reuters, 6/18/02)(AP, 6/18/02)
2002 Jun 20, In Saudi Arabia John Veness, a British employee at Al Bank al Saudi
al Fransi, was killed in a car bomb explosion in Riyadh.
(WSJ, 6/21/02, p.A7)
2002 Jun, Iran transferred 16 al Qaeda suspects to Saudi Arabia.
(SSFC, 8/11/02, p.A13)
2002 Jul 19, In Saudi Arabia a passenger bus collided head on with a truck and caught fire outside the holy city of Mecca, killing 26 people and injuring 24 others.
2002 Jul 22, Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (43), the genial Saudi prince who dominated racing the last two years with Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and 2001 horse of the year Point Given,
2002 Aug 7, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud said his country had made it clear to Washington, publicly and privately, that the U.S. military will not be allowed to use
the kingdom's soil in any way for an attack on Iraq. Saud said the longtime U.S. ally does not plan to expel American forces from an air base used for flights to monitor Iraq.
(AP, 8/7/02)(AP, 8/8/02)
Aug 13, The minaret at the Imam Ali al Uraidh Islamic shrine complex in Medina was demolished with dynamite.
(WSJ, 8/18/04, p.A1)
2002 Aug 27, Pres. Bush met with Prince Bandar bin
Sultan of Saudi Arabia, who said war with Iraq was not acceptable and that Saudi Arabia would not cooperate.
(SFC, 8/28/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 6, US officials reported that the assets of Wa'el Hamza
Julaidan, alleged al Qaeda financier, had been frozen, and that he had been located in Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.A8)
2002 Sep 29, A Saudi prince signed deals worth $330 million to export Sudanese
livestock and build a five-star hotel in Sudan's capital.
2002 Nov 3, Saudi Arabia said it would not permit bases on its soil in an attack against Iraq and would not grant flyover rights
to US military planes even if the UN sanctions an invasion. Prince Saud later said a final decision had not been made.
(SFC, 11/4/02, p.A3)(SFC, 11/5/02, p.A7)
2002 Dec 10, Saudi dissidents reported a
new radio station, Sawt al-Islah (the Voice of Reform), had started broadcasting from Europe to push for reforms.
(SFC, 12/11/02, p.A14)
2002 Dec 12, OPEC agreed to cut oil production by as much as 7%,
well ahead of a seasonal decline.
(SFC, 12/13/02, p.B1)
2003 Feb 8, Nearly 2 million Muslims converged on Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Some of the faithful offered prayers to avert a U.S.-led war
2003 Feb 11, In Mina, Saudi Arabia, 14 Muslim pilgrims were trampled to death when some worshippers tripped amid a jostling crowd during the devil-stoning ritual of the annual
(AP, 2/11/03)(SFC, 2/12/03, p.A9)
2003 Feb 18, Saudi Arabia said it has referred 90 Saudis to trial for alleged al Qaeda links. Another 250 were reported under
(SFC, 2/19/03, A10)
2003 Feb 20, In Saudi Arabia a British defense worker was killed by Saud bin Ali bin Nasser, a Saudi citizen.
(SFC, 2/21/03, A1)
2003 Mar 25, Saudi Arabia contacted the United States and Iraq with a peace proposal and was still awaiting a response.
2003 Apr 28, The US moved an air operation center from Saudi Arabia to Qatar.
2003 Apr 29, The US said it would withdraw all combat forces from Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 4/29/03, A14)
2003 May 6, Saudi authorities seized a weapons cache and foiled
plans by suspected terrorists. At least 19 men were sought.
(SFC, 5/8/03, p.A1)
2003 May 12, In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, multiple, simultaneous suicide car bombings at 3 foreign compounds killed 26
people, including 9 US citizens. The next day Saudi authorities linked Khaled Jehani (29) head of a 19-member al-Qaida team to the carnage. Ali Abd al-Rahman al-Faqasi al-Ghamdi, a senior al Qaeda figure, surrendered Jun 26. On Jan 8, 2004, 8 accomplices were arrested in Switzerland.
(SFC, 5/14/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/14/03, p.A1)(SFC,
6/27/03, p.A16)(SFC, 1/10/04, p.A3)(AP, 5/12/08)
2003 Jun 7, The Saudi interior minister linked last month's Riyadh bombings to the al-Qaida terror network in an interview, and his ministry identified 12 of the
2003 Jun 15, The Saudi government said it foiled "an imminent terrorist" attack with an overnight raid on a bomb-filled, booby-trapped apartment in the holy city of Mecca that
left five suspects and two security agents dead.
2003 Jun, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (22), a US citizen, was arrested in Medina as Saudi authorities were investigating a wave of bombings. He was
convicted in 2005 in a Virginia federal court of conspiring with Al-Qaida. In 2008 a federal appeals court upheld the conviction, but ordered a new sentencing hearing. In 2009 he was sentenced to life in prison for plotting to kill Pres. George W. Bush.
(SFC, 11/23/05, p.A14)(SFC, 6/7/08, p.A3)(SFC, 7/28/09,
2003 Jul 3, In Suweir, Saudi Arabia, Turki Nasser al-Dandani, the top suspect wanted in the May 12 Riyadh suicide bombing, was killed along with three other militants in a gunbattle when police raided their
2003 Jul 21, The Saudi government announced that police arrested 16 al-Qaida-linked terror suspects over the last 4 days and used tractors to dig up an underground arsenal: 20
tons of bomb-making chemicals, detonators, rocket-propelled grenades and rifles.
2003 Jul 28, In Saudi Arabia 6 suspected militants were killed in a firefight with Saudi police, who
raided a farm where they were hiding out. Two police also were killed.
2003 Aug 10, Saudi police arrested 10 suspected Muslim militants following a gunfight after police tried to stop
their cars outside Riyadh.
(WSJ, 8/12/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 11, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah flew to Morocco for talks with King Mohammed VI about Iraq and the Palestinian
2003 Aug 15, Saudi police arrested at least 11 suspected militants and seized a large weapons cache in southern Jazan province that included rockets and explosive
2003 Aug 16, Former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, blamed for the murder of tens of thousands of his people in the 1970s, died in a Saudi hospital where he had been critically ill for
2003 Sep 2, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah met Russia's Pres. Putin on the first visit to post-Soviet Russia by a Saudi leader, aimed at coordinating oil exports and soothing
Russian concerns about alleged funding of Chechen rebels by Saudi charities.
2003 Sep 14, A Saudi importer of some 58,000 Australian sheep was reported to be trying to give them away
for free. The sheep had been stranded for five weeks on the ship, the Cormo Express, due to a 6% infection rate for scabby mouth disease. Australia in 2002 had imposed tougher rules on ships exporting livestock to the Persian Gulf after it was revealed that 14,500 sheep had died from heat stress in one month. Some 5,700 sheep aboard the Cormo Express died before Eritrea accepted the
(AP, 9/14/03)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.88)
2003 Sep 14, Dhaher bin Thamer al-Shimry, a Saudi marijuana trafficker, was beheaded, bringing the number of beheadings in the kingdom this year to 41.
2003 Sep 15, In Saudi Arabia a fire that swept through el-Haer prison in Riyadh and 94 were initially reported killed. 67 inmates died in the worst prison fire in Saudi Arabian history.
(AP, 9/16/03)(AP, 2/16/12)
2003 Sep 23, A raid in Saudi Arabia on Islamic militants left three suspects dead, including Jubran Sultan al-Qahtani (aka as Zubayr al-Rimi), an al-Qaida figure wanted by the
2003 Oct 13, The Saudi Cabinet announced that first-ever elections would be held for local councils in 14 municipalities throughout the
2003 Oct 14, In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, hundreds took to the streets demanding reforms, the first large-scale protest in this conservative kingdom where demonstrations are
2003 Oct 20, Saudi authorities announced the arrests of terrorist suspects and the discovery of large quantities of weapons and ammunition during raids around the
2003 Nov 3, Saudi police battled militants in the streets of the holy city of Mecca, killing two of the suspects and uncovering a large cache of weapons. Police arrested six
(AP, 11/3/03)(AP, 11/4/03)
2003 Nov 6, In Saudi Arabia 2 suspected militants blew themselves up in Mecca when security forces tried to arrest them. A 3rd was shot to death by police
during a raid in Riyadh.
2003 Nov 8, In Saudi Arabia a suicide car bombing that devastated a Riyadh housing complex, killing 17 people and wounding more than 120. Officials pointed to
al-Qaida terrorists as responsible.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A1)(AP, 11/8/04)
2003 Nov 25, Saudi police killed 2 militants and seized a car bomb ready for detonation in post Ramadan
(WSJ, 11/26/03, p.A1)
2003 Nov 27, Talal al-Rasheed, a prominent Saudi poet, was shot to death by attackers while on a hunting trip in
2003 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia issued the names and photos of its 26 most wanted terrorist suspects and increased protection around Western housing compounds in the
2003 Dec 7, Saudi security forces stormed a gas station and killed one of the country's most wanted terrorist suspects and a second
2003 Rachel Ehrenfeld authored “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It.” The book sold 23 copies in Britain, over the Internet. She later lost a libel case
concerning the book brought in the English High Court of Justice by Saudi businessman Khalid bin Mahfouz, who was awarded ₤100,000 ($160,000).
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_Evil)(Econ, 1/2/10, p.42)
Dore Gold authored "Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism."
(WSJ, 3/27/03, p.D7)
2003 Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index posted a 76% gain for the
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.C18)
2003 The Saudi-owned news channel al-Arabiya was launched from Dubai.
2003 A CIA report said that the Al-Rajhi Bank in Saudi Arabia had served as a conduit for terrorist transactions since at least the mid-1990s.
2003 Libya planned a covert operation to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia according to 2004 testimony by 2 jailed participants.
2003 Doctors at St. Vincent Medical Center in LA, Ca., performed a liver transplant on a Saudi citizen, who was 52nd on a transplant list. The Saudi Arabian Embassy paid $339,000 for the operation. In 2005 the hospital suspended its liver program after
determining that the 2003 operation was improper.
(SFC, 9/28/05, p.A7)
2004 Jan 8, Teams of Swiss police in 5 cantons arrested 8 suspected accomplices in the May 12 al Qaeda car bomb attack in Saudi
(SFC, 1/10/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 29, In Saudi Arabia some 2 million Muslims from around the world gathered at the start of the annual Hajj.
2004 Feb 1, In Saudi Arabia 251 Muslim worshipers died in a hajj stampede during the annual stoning of Satan ritual.
(AP, 2/2/04)(WSJ, 2/3/04,
2004 Mar 15, In Saudi Arabia authorities killed Khaled Ali Haj, a Yemeni, and Ibrahim bin Abdul-Aziz bin Mohammed al-Mezeini, a Saudi. Haj, who also uses the name Abu Hazim al-Sha'ir, was the "most dangerous" al-Qaida operative in the region. Haj was third on
the government's list of Saudi Arabia's 26 most wanted militants.
2004 Apr 10, Rania al-Baz, a popular Saudi TV host, was severely beaten by her husband. She suffered 13 facial fractures
that required 12 operations. She allowed photos to be broadcast and opened discussions of ongoing violence against women in Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 4/20/04, p.A6)
2004 Apr 13, In Saudi Arabia militants
near Unaizah opened fire on a police checkpoint at dawn, killing four police officers and fleeing in security agents' cars.
2004 Apr 19, Saudi police seized 2 explosives packed SUVs on a
highway outside Riyadh. It the 3rd day in a row that such a seizure was announced.
(WSJ, 4/20/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 21, Two car bombs blasted the Saudi security headquarters, killing at least 4 people and
(AP, 4/21/04)(SFC, 4/22/04, p.A16)
2004 Apr 22, Saudi security forces killed five wanted militants and were pursuing others after shootouts that spread over two days in the port city of
2004 May 1, In Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, suspected militants sprayed gunfire inside the offices of Houston-based ABB Ltd., an oil contractor, killing at least six people — including
two Americans and three other Westerners — and wounding dozens. Police killed four brothers in a shootout after a car chase in which the attackers reportedly dragged the naked body of one victim behind their getaway car.
(AP, 5/1/04)(SFC, 5/3/04, p.A7)(WSJ, 2/25/06, p.A1)
2004 May 10, Saudi oil ministers called on OPEC to pump more oil.
(SFC, 5/11/04, p.A1)
2004 May 20, Four suspected
Saudi militants and a policeman were killed in a shootout the Saudi city of Buraida.
2004 May 28, In Saudi Arabia suspected Islamic militants sprayed gunfire inside two oil industry
compounds on the Persian Gulf, killing at least 10 people including one American.
(AP, 5/29/04)(SSFC, 5/30/04, p.A1)
2004 May 29, In Saudi Arabia gunmen shot down security guards and entered 2 office
complexes in Khobar searching for and murdering anyone looking western.
(Econ, 6/5/04, p.41)
2004 May 30, Saudi commandos stormed the expatriate resort of Khobar to free up to 60 foreign hostages
seized by Islamic militant gunmen who had attacked oil industry compounds, killing 22 people. Americans were among those killed and taken captive. 3 suspects escaped.
(AP, 5/31/04)(WSJ, 6/1/04, p.A1)
Jun 2, Saudi security forces killed two suspected militants linked to a weekend shooting and hostage-taking.
2004 Jun 6, In Saudi Arabia Simon Chambers (36), an Irish
cameraman working for the BBC, was killed in a shooting in Riyadh. A BBC correspondent was injured.
(SFC, 6/7/04, A8)
2004 Jun 8, In Saudi Arabia an American citizen who worked for a US defense
contractor was shot and killed in Riyadh.
2004 Jun 12, In Saudi Arabia an American was kidnapped. An al-Qaida statement, posted on an Islamic Web site, showed a passport-size photo of a
brown-haired man and a Lockheed Martin business card bearing the name Paul M. Johnson. Islamic militants shot and killed Kenneth Scroggs of Laconia, New Hampshire, in his garage in Riyadh.
(AP, 6/13/04)(AP, 6/20/04)
Jun 13, Saudi Arabia held a 3-day “national dialogue” in Medina on how women’s lives could be improved. On Jun 15, recommendations (19) were given to Crown Prince Abdullah.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.26)
Jun 15, A Saudi al Qaeda group threatened to execute Paul M. Johnson Jr. within 72 hours unless fellow jihadists were released were released from prison.
(SFC, 6/19/04, p.A15)
Jun 18, A Saudi al-Qaida group said it killed American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr., posting 3 photos on the Internet showing his body and severed head. Hours later Saudi security forces killed Abdulaziz al-Moqrin (31), a top al-Qaida leader, and 3 other militants in Riyadh.
2004 Jun 23, Saudi Arabia offered Islamic militants a limited amnesty, saying their lives would be spared if they surrendered but they would face the "full might" of state wrath if they did not. Prince Nayef said foreign residents may be allowed to carry
(AP, 6/23/04)(SFC, 6/25/04, p.A10)
2004 Jun 27, Saudi Arabia dispatched two planeloads of aid to Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur.
2004 Jun, The Saudi parliament passed legislation overturning a law banning girls and women from participating in physical education and sports. In August the ministry of education announced that it had no intention of honoring the
(SFC, 8/26/04, p.B1)
2004 Jun, Fawaz al-Nashimi (aka Turki bin Fuheid al-Muteiry), an al-Qaida operative, was killed in a gunbattle with Saudi forces. He was involved in the May 29 attack inside two oil industry compounds. In 2006 an
al-Qaida statement identified him as the would-be 20th hijacker for the Sep. 11 attacks.
(SFC, 6/21/06, p.A3)
2004 Jul 1, Saudi security forces traded gunfire with militants in a Riyadh, killing one
militant and wounding one. A police officer was killed and two were hurt.
2004 Jul 12, A Sri Lankan woman was beheaded in the Saudi capital for murdering her employer. Bader el-Nisaa
Mibari had been convicted of killing Sara bint Mohammed al-Haqeel, a Saudi woman, after trying to rob her with the help a male companion.
2004 Jul 13, A confidant of Osama bin Laden
(Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harby) surrendered to Saudi diplomats in Iran and was flown to Saudi Arabia.
2004 Jul 16, A Saudi transport company said it had pulled out of Iraq to save
the life of an Egyptian truck driver taken hostage by kidnappers who demanded the firm leave the country.
2004 Jul 20, In Saudi Arabia the head of slain American hostage Paul M.
Johnson Jr., who was kidnapped and decapitated by militants last month, was found by security forces during a raid that targeted the hideout of the Saudi al-Qaida chief. Two militants were killed.
Jul 29, In Saudi Arabia Colin Powell met with Iraq’s PM Alawi to talk about a Muslim peacekeeping force.
(WSJ, 7/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 30, Abdurahman Alamoudi pleaded guilty in a
Virginia court to moving cash from Libya and involvement in a plot to assassinate Saudi Prince Abdullah.
(SFC, 7/31/04, p.A3)
2004 Aug 4, The official Saudi Press reported that municipal elections
across Saudi Arabia, the first such polls in decades, have been have been pushed back two months to November.
2004 Aug 6, Saudi officials reported the capture of Faris Ahmed Jamaan
al-Showeel al Zahrani, No. 12 on their list of 26 most wanted terrorism suspects.
(SFC, 8/7/04, p.A10)
2004 Sep 1, In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 3 people were killed in a stampede to a newly opened Ikea
(SFC, 9/2/04, p.C2)
2004 Sep 2, In Saudi Arabia one policeman was killed and three others wounded in clashes with militants in a town northeast of
2004 Sep 15, In Saudi Arabia Edward Stuart Muirhead-Smith (55) was killed at the Max shopping center in eastern Riyadh.
2004 Sep 26, A French national was shot and killed in the Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah.
2004 Sep 28, Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority issued an edict barring the use of cell phones with built-in cameras, blaming them for "spreading obscenity."
2004 Oct 16, Saudi security forces captured four suspected militants in the Khaleej neighborhood of Riyadh.
Nov 6, In an open letter to the Iraqi people and posted on the Internet, 26 Saudi scholars and religious preachers stressed that armed attacks launched by militant Iraqi groups on U.S. troops and their allies in Iraq were "legitimate" resistance.
2004 Nov 8, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah launched $8 billion in development projects in Mecca.
(WSJ, 11/9/04, p.A1)
Nov 16, Saudi police arrested 5 suspected militants in al-Qassim, 220 miles northwest of Riyadh, following a shootout that killed a policeman.
2004 Nov 27, Saudi
security forces killed a suspected militant in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
2004 Dec 6, In Saudi Arabia Islamic militants threw explosives at the gate of the heavily guarded US consulate
in Jiddah in a bold assault, then forced their way into the building, prompting a gunbattle that left 9 people dead and several injured. In 2005 two AK-47 assault rifles used in the attack were later traced to Yemen’s Ministry of Defense.
(AP, 10/12/05)(AP, 12/06/05)
2004 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia announced it was withdrawing its ambassador to Libya and ordered out Libya's envoy in response to reports that Tripoli plotted to assassinate the Saudi crown prince.
2004 Dec 28, In Saudi Arabia security forces killed three suspected militants in a raid on their hideout in Riyadh.
2004 Dec 29, In Saudi Arabia insurgents bombed two security headquarters in Riyadh, setting off violence that left 10 attackers and one bystander dead.
2004 Carmen bin Ladin authored “Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia.” Carmen, the ex-wife of Osama’s older brother Yeslam, grew up in Geneva.
(SFC, 7/29/04, p.D8)
In Saudi Arabia women until this year were legally required to conduct business through a male agent.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.86)
2004 Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index posted a 85% gain for the
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.C18)
2005 Jan 1, In Saudi Arabia 2 men, a Pakistani and an Iraqi, were beheaded for smuggling in drugs.
2005 Jan 1, Saudi Arabia was forecast for 2.3% annual GDP growth with a population at 25.7 million and GDP per head at $4,110.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.94)
2005 Jan 9, Saudi police killed four terrorists believed linked to al-Qaida after the militants fled their desert tent while throwing hand grenades at surrounding forces.
2005 Jan 13, Saudi judicial officials said a religious court has sentenced 15 Saudis, including a woman, to as many as 250 lashes each and up to six months in prison for participating in a protest against the monarchy.
2005 Jan 15, Police and militants fought a gun battle in a small Kuwaiti town near a US military logistics center, leaving one Saudi gunman dead and two policemen wounded.
2005 Feb 5, The crown prince of Saudi Arabia called for the creation of an international anti-terrorism center to trade information in an effort to prevent attacks.
2005 Feb 7, A Saudi woman was beheaded after she was convicted of murdering her mother-in-law. Noura bint Khalaf al-Harbi was found guilty of setting her mother-in-law, Noura bint Salem al-Harbi, on fire as she slept following a
2005 Feb 10, Male voters converged at polling stations in the Riyadh region to participate in city elections, marking the first time Saudis are taking part in a vote that largely
conforms to international standards. Women were banned from casting ballots.
2005 Feb 10, Saudi Arabia confirmed a 2nd case of polio from 2004 and feared pilgrims to Mecca might spread the
(SFC, 2/11/05, p.A13)
2005 Feb 12, Saudi newspapers said dozens of losing candidates in Saudi Arabia's first regular election will contest results from the opening round of municipal
balloting, arguing that conservative religious candidates won unfairly by claiming support from clerics.
2005 Mar 3, Men in eastern and southern Saudi Arabia turned out in the thousands
to vote in municipal elections. They expect to provide their first say in decision-making in this absolute monarchy.
2005 Mar 3, An Arab League meeting opened in Cairo. An Arab diplomat said Syria has told Arab countries it needs to
keep 3,000 troops and early-warning stations inside Lebanon to maintain its security despite international pressure for a full withdrawal. Saudi Arabia told Syria to withdraw its troops.
(AP, 3/3/05)(SFC, 3/4/05, p.A3)
2005 Mar 13, Saudi police killed an alleged Islamic militant and arrested three others in a shootout at a suspected terror cell hideout in the Red Sea city of Jiddah.
2005 Apr 1, Saudi Arabia beheaded 3 men in public in the northern city of al-Jawf where in 2003 they killed a deputy governor, a religious court judge and a police lieutenant.
2005 Apr 1, Saudi
Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index reached a record 10853, up 28% for the year this far.
(WSJ, 4/4/05, p.C18)
2005 Apr 3, In central Saudi Arabia a gun battle began that left 7 suspected al-Qaida
militants killed in a shootout with Saudi security forces in ar-Rass.
2005 Apr 5, Saudi police killed 2 more militants, bringing the total to 9, as security forces continued a tense
standoff in ar-Rass. Among those killed were Moroccan Kareem Altohami al-Mojati and Saudi Saud Homood Obaid al-Otaibi, who were ranked 4 and 7 respectively on Saudi Arabia's list of 26 most wanted al-Qaida-linked terror suspects.
(AP, 4/5/05)(SFC, 4/5/05, p.A3)
2005 Apr 6, Security forces killed one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted Islamic militants. At least 14 militants were killed over the 4 straight days of shootouts with extremists in different parts of the kingdom.
(AP, 4/6/05)(SFC, 4/6/05,
2005 Apr 21, Saudi authorities extended their limited experiment in democracy to the holiest cities of Islam with elections for some local council seats in Mecca and Medina, in the third and final round of the kingdom's first nationwide
2005 Apr 21, Islamic militants clashed with Saudi security forces in Islam's holiest city of Mecca and nearby Jiddah, killing two militants and two policemen.
2005 Apr 25, President Bush sought relief from record-high gas prices and support for Middle East peace as he opened his Texas ranch to Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
2005 May 8, In Saudi Arabia a Pakistani man was beheaded for attempting to smuggle heroin into the kingdom.
2005 May 15, In Saudi Arabia 3 reform advocates were sentenced to terms ranging from six to nine years in prison, prompting a human rights activist to call their trial a "farce."
2005 May 15, Ali al-Dimeeni (al-Domeini), already jailed more than a year in a Saudi prison outside Riyadh, was sentenced to nine years in prison for sowing dissent, disobeying his rulers and sedition. His 1998 novel "A Gray Cloud," centered on a dissident jailed for years in a desert nation prison where many others have done time for their political
(AP, 5/25/05)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.51)
2005 May 27, King Fahd, Saudi Arabia's monarch for the last 23 years was hospitalized for unspecified tests.
2005 Jun 15, OPEC agreed to increase its production quota by half a million barrels a day in an effort to cool high crude oil costs that have dampened the global economy.
2005 Jun 16, Board members of the UN atomic watchdog agency approved a deal that exempts Saudi Arabia from nuclear inspections, despite serious misgivings about the arrangement in an era of heightened proliferation
2005 Jun 18, A senior Saudi police officer was killed in a drive-by shooting in Mecca.
2005 Jun 21, Saudi security forces killed two suspected terrorists accused of fatally shooting a senior security official outside his home.
2005 Jun 28, Saudi Arabia issued a list of 36 men wanted for acts of terror and called on people to report them to the police.
2005 Jul 8, In China Exxon Mobil Corp., Saudi Aramco and top Asian refiner Sinopec signed a $3.5 billion deal to expand a refinery in south China, sealing what they called the country's largest oil project.
2005 Jul 25, Saudi authorities arrested a number of suspected militants in Arar, Medina and Riyadh. Among those arrested Mohammed Saeed Mohammed al-Sayam al-Umari (25) was No. 10 on Saudi list of 36 most wanted
2005 Aug 1, King Fahd (83), Saudi ruler since 1982, died at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. He moved Saudi Arabia closer to the US but ruled
the nation in name only since suffering a stroke in 1995. His half brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, was named to replace him.
(AP, 8/1/05)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.71)
2005 Aug 5, VP Dick Cheney, accompanied by
former President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, paid respects to new Saudi King Abdullah (81).
(AP, 8/5/05)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.10)
2005 Aug 8, In Saudi Arabia King Abdullah
pardoned 4 prominent activists who were jailed after criticizing the strict religious environment and the slow pace of democratic reform.
2005 Aug 18, Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi, Al-Qaida's
leader in Saudi Arabia, was killed along with 5 others during clashes with police in the western city of Medina. Majed Hamed Abdullah al-Haasiri (29), who was No. 14 on a list of 36 most wanted terrorists sought for connection to terror attacks in the kingdom dating back to 2003, was killed in a shootout with police in Riyadh.
2005 Aug, Saudi Arabia granted a 15% pay raise to government employees, their 1st pay raise in 22 years.
(Econ, 1/7/06, Survey p.11)
2005 Sep 4, Saudi Arabia said it had signed a bilateral free trade agreement with the US.
2005 Sep 4, In eastern
Saudi Arabia police fought running gun battles with al-Qaida militants in Dammam in clashes that killed two extremists and a police officer. The militants aimed to attack oil facilities.
(AP, 9/4/05)(WSJ, 2/25/06, p.A1)
2005 Sep 6, Saudi security forces stormed a villa in Dammam where Islamic militants were holed up, ending 3 days of fierce fighting that killed 4 policemen and a number of militants.
2005 Sep 8, The Saudi Interior Ministry said security forces killed five of Saudi Arabia's most-wanted al-Qaida militants in a three-day battle in an eastern city earlier this week and arrested 11 other suspects.
2005 Sep 15, The Saudi government ordered a Jiddah chamber of commerce to allow female voters and candidates.
Sep 21, In Saudi Arabia 2 men were beheaded in Riyadh, after being convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman.
2005 Sep 25, Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir met with
King Abdullah in the Saudi city of Jeddah to discuss cooperation between their countries and regional developments.
2005 Sep, The novel “The Girls of Riyadh” by Rajaa al-Sanie (23) was
published in Lebanon. Only pirated copies were available in Saudi Arabia. Rajaa Alsanea wrote the novel as a series of anonymous e-mails about the protagonists. In 2007 the book became available in English.
(SFC, 12/16/05, p.A29)(WSJ, 6/29/07, p.W2)
2005 Oct 4, A new Syrian TV series began broadcasting around the Middle East. It tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven, 72 beautiful
2005 Oct 19, The International Organization for Migration (IMO) said "Ethiopian women and girls who migrate to Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia suffer from maltreatment,
physical, sexual and emotional abuses," in a report based on interviews with 443 women returning from the region.
2005 Oct 28, Saudi Arabia was given a green light to join the World
Trade Organization, in time to participate in December's crucial ministerial summit in Hong Kong.
2005 Nov 8, The US State Department issued its 7th annual report to Congress on
religious freedom. It cited Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam as restricting religious freedom.
2005 Nov 11, The World Trade Organization (WTO)
approved Saudi Arabia's bid to become the 149th member of the global group, winding up a 12-year negotiating process slowed by the country's participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel.
Nov 13, Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, said he is less worried that US policies in Iraq will bring on a civil war there, and pledged anew to contribute $1 billion for rebuilding that war-ravaged country's shattered infrastructure.
2005 Nov 14, It was reported that a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Oger Telecom has signed a deal to take a majority stake in state-owned telecommunications company Turk Telekom, sealing Turkey's largest privatization worth 6.55 billion dollars. Oger
Telecom, part of the Oger group owned by the family of slain former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri, had won the tender for the 55% stake in July, in partnership with Italian operator Telecom Italia.
Nov 17, Saudi judicial officials said a Saudi high-school chemistry teacher, accused of discussing religion with his students, was sentenced to 750 lashes and 40 months in prison for blasphemy following a trial on Nov 12.
2005 Nov 27, Two women were elected to a chamber of commerce in Jiddah, the first to win any such post in Saudi Arabia, where women are largely barred from political life.
2005 Dec 6, In Saudi Arabia representatives of Islamic countries met ahead of a two-day summit, with delegates saying the world's largest Islamic organization must reform to face new challenges.
2005 Dec 8, In Saudi Arabia leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries promised to fight extremist ideology, saying they would reform textbooks, restrict religious edicts and crack down on terror financing.
2005 Dec 27, Saudi police arrested Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Mohammed al-Suwailmi, a terror suspect on the country's list of most wanted militants.
2005 Dec 28, Saudi police shot dead a militant on Saudi Arabia's most-wanted list, the second major terror suspect to die in the country in 24 hours.
2005 Pascal Menoret authored “The Saudi Enigma: A History.”
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.87)
2005 Saudi Arabia
enacted a law that banned state employees from saying anything in public that conflicts with official policy.
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.53)
2006 Jan 5, In Saudi Arabia a building used as a hostel by pilgrims
in Mecca collapsed as millions of Muslims converged for the annual hajj, and at least 76 people were killed.
2006 Jan 12, Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic
stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage, causing a crush in which 363 people were killed.
2006 Jan 23, Saudi King Abdullah met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing,
amid efforts by China to secure overseas oil and gas reserves for its power-hungry economy.
2006 Jan 26, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador in Denmark to protest a published series of
caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. Protests spread across the Muslim world for weeks, and dozens of people were killed.
2006 Jan 31, Saudi Arabia and Jordan pressed the Islamic militant
group Hamas to moderate its stand on Israel and to entice the defeated Fatah party into a deal to share power.
2006 Feb 19, Almost five months after publishing 12 cartoons of the prophet
to highlight what it described as self-censorship, Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten newspaper printed a full-page apology in a Saudi-owned pan-Arab newspaper.
2006 Feb 24, Suicide bombers in
explosives-laden cars attempted to attack an oil processing facility at the Abqaiq facility that handles about two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's petroleum output, but were stopped when guards opened fire on them, causing the cars to explode.
2006 Feb 26, The Saudi Interior Ministry identified two Feb 24 attackers as Abdullah Abdul-Aziz al-Tweijri and Mohammed Saleh al-Gheith. Both were on a list of the 15 most-wanted terrorists the kingdom issued in June.
2006 Feb 27, Saudi security forces in Riyadh shot dead five suspected terrorists believed to be involved in a foiled attack on the world's biggest oil processing complex. A sixth suspect was arrested. Fahd Faraaj al-Juwair, the leader of al-Qaida in Saudi
Arabia, and two men who helped attack the world's largest oil-processing complex were among five militants killed during the police raids.
(AP, 2/27/06)(AP, 2/28/06)
2006 Feb 28, Iraqi border guards
captured, Abdullah Salah al-Harbi, a Saudi who admitted he was involved in the suicide attack on the Abqaiq oil facility in Saudi Arabia.
2006 Mar 5, French President Jacques Chirac on a
trip to Saudi Arabia preached greater tolerance and respect after the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad a month ago whipped up protests around the world.
Persian Gulf stock markets suffered their 1st serious correction after years of 6-7% annual gains. Stock market reversals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAR, along with Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia triggered outrage among local small investors.
(WSJ, 3/27/06, p.C1)
2006 Mar 29, The Saudi Press Agency reported that Saudi authorities had arrested 40 suspected members of al-Qaida, including some allegedly involved in last month's attempted bombing of a key oil complex, and seized a large cache of weapons and explosives.
2006 Apr 6, Japan said it would launch free trade talks with six Gulf kingdoms that provide three-quarters of its oil imports, during a visit by a Saudi crown prince aimed at expanding business
2006 Apr 6, Cheese and butter from the Danish company Arla were back on supermarket shelves in Saudi Arabia after an Islamic group ended a boycott of the dairy producer sparked by Denmark's publication of drawings of the Prophet
2006 Apr 15, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz began a two-day visit to Pakistan during which he is expected to discuss a possible arms
2006 Apr 18, A security official said Saudi authorities arrested five suspected terrorists linked to the February 24 deadly attack on the world's largest oil processing
2006 Apr 22, Saudi Arabia and China signed defense, security and trade agreements in Riyadh on the first day of Chinese President Hu Jintao's
2006 Apr 30, Saudi King Abdullah issued a decree lowering domestic gasoline prices by about 25%. That would lower the cost to about 16 cents per
2006 Apr, Saudi Arabia announced plans to build an electrified fence along its 560-mile border with Iraq.
2006 May 9, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia won seats on the new UN Human Rights Council despite their poor human rights records. Two rights abusers, Iran and Venezuela, were defeated.
2006 May 16, Saudi newspapers reported that King Abdullah has told Saudi editors to stop publishing pictures of women as they could make young men go astray.
2006 Jun 10, Three Guantanamo Bay detainees, 2 from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, bringing further condemnation of the isolated camp where hundreds of men have been held for years without
charge. Yasser Talal al-Zahrani (21) of Saudi Arabia, captured in Pakistan in 2002, was one of the 3 Gitmo detainees who committed suicide.
(AP, 6/11/06)(Econ, 6/17/06, p.92)
2006 Jun 23, Saudi
security forces stormed a suspected al-Qaida hideout in Riyadh, killing six militants and arresting a seventh after an exchange of gunfire.
2006 Jun 24, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry
said security forces had arrested 42 suspected terrorists, including four foreign nationals, allegedly involved in earlier attacks across the kingdom. 27 of the detainees, including an Ethiopian and two Somalis, were rounded up May 9-23 in Riyadh, Mecca, the Eastern Region province and the Hafer al-Baten province that borders Iraq. An Iraqi and three Saudis were detained in a June 17 raid on a
desert camp in Hafer al-Baten. Another nine, all Saudis, also were captured at a desert hideout in Hafer al-Baten. Two more suspected were arrested after the June 23 raid.
2006 Jul 8,
Saudi officials said 7 suspected terrorists had escaped from a prison in Riyadh a few days earlier.
2006 Jul 21, It was reported that Saudi Arabia has ordered 76 artillery howitzers from
the French armaments manufacturer Giat Industries as defense minister Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz completed a two-day visit.
2006 Aug 18, The Financial Times reported that Britain
has agreed to a multi-billion-dollar defense deal to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia.
2006 Aug 21, Saudi police killed two armed men during clashes in the Red Sea
port of Jeddah.
2006 Sep 8, It was reported that Saudi Arabia’s religious police have issued a decree in Jiddah and Mecca banning the sale of the pets, seen as a sign of Western
2006 Sep 9, It was reported that some 15,000 students from Saudi Arabia were enrolling on college campuses across the United States this semester under a new educational
exchange program brokered by President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah.
2006 Oct 20, Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency reported that the king gave new powers to his brothers and nephews in
an overhaul of the way the kingdom chooses future monarchs, in what appeared to be an attempt to defuse internal power struggles. King Abdullah established the allegiance council, a body of 30-odd senior princes, as a new succession mechanism aimed in the long term to choose the crown prince.
2006 Oct 20, Shiite and Sunni religious figures met in Mecca in a bid to stop sectarian bloodshed, and issued a series of edicts forbidding violence between Iraq's two Muslim sects.
2006 Nov 25, US Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah, apparently seeking the Sunni royal family's influence and tribal connections to calm Iraq after an especially violent
2006 Dec 2, Saudi news said authorities have arrested 136 suspected militants over the past three months, accusing some of plotting to carry out suicide attacks inside the
2006 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia said it had fired a security adviser who wrote in The Washington Post that the world's top oil exporter would intervene in Iraq once the United States
withdraws troops. Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani citizen and his daughter for smuggling heroin into the kingdom. The kingdom beheaded 83 people in 2005 and 35 people in 2004.
(AP, 12/6/06)(Reuters, 12/7/06)
Dec 7, In Saudi Arabia armed men shot and killed two guards outside a prison in the western city of Jiddah before taking cover in a residential building where they were surrounded by Saudi security forces.
2006 Dec 10, The oil-rich Arab states on the Persian Gulf said that they will consider starting a joint nuclear program for peaceful purposes. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
2006 Dec 11, More than 30 prominent Islamic clerics from Saudi Arabia called on Sunni Muslims around the Middle East to support their brethren in Iraq against Shiites and praised the insurgency.
2006 Dec 26, The Saudi government said it had released 18 men who were detained after returning to their homeland from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
2006 Dec 28, Nearly 3 million Muslims from around the world, chanting and raising their hands to heaven, marched through a desert valley outside Mecca on the first day of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
2006 William Simpson authored “The Prince: The Secret Story of the World’s Most Intriguing Royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan.” Bandar (b.1949) had served over 20 years as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington
(www.saudiembassy.net/Country/Government/BandarBio.asp)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.86)
2006 The Saudi offshoot of Emaar, one of Dubai’s big-three developers, raised 2.55 billion riyals ($680 million) to build a metropolis on the Red Sea coast.
The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) was due for completion in 2016.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.38)
2007 Jan 3, In Saudi Arabia Muslims circled the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, for a final time, bringing to a
close what may have been the largest hajj pilgrimage ever.
2007 Jan 29, Saudi Arabia said it would begin a 158,000 barrel-a-day cut in oil production effective Feb
(WSJ, 1/30/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 30, The Saudi foreign minister said Saudi Arabia and Iran are working together to try to calm the crises in Iraq and
2007 Jan 30, Jamal Khalifa, a Saudi citizen married to a sister of Osama bin Laden, was killed when gunmen broke into his house in village in Madagascar in an apparent
2007 Feb 3, The interior ministry spokesman said Saudi police have arrested 10 people who are accused of collecting donations and recruiting on behalf of militant
2007 Feb 4, A Saudi newspaper reported that a Saudi Arabian judge sentenced 20 foreigners to receive lashes and spend several months in prison after convicting them of attending a
party where alcohol was served and men and women danced.
2007 Feb 7, In Saudi Arabia rival Palestinian leaders began open-ended talks in Mecca optimistic that they could reach an agreement
to end their bloody street battles and resume the peace process with Israel.
2007 Feb 8, A Fatah official in Saudi Arabia said that rival Palestinian factions had reached an agreement on
how to divide up Cabinet posts in a power-sharing government.
2007 Feb 11, President Vladimir Putin, making the first visit by a Russian leader to Saudi Arabia, met King Abdullah and other
senior officials for talks that touched on regional tensions including Iraq and the Palestinian territories.
2007 Feb 17, A US human rights watchdog that recently sent a team to Saudi
Arabia to investigate abuses said in a new report the kingdom keeps thousands of prisoners in jail without charge, sentences children to death and oppresses women.
2007 Feb 19, A Saudi
court ordered the bodies of four Sri Lankans to be displayed in a public square after being beheaded for armed robbery.
2007 Feb 21, Seven Saudis released from the US prison in Guantanamo
Bay returned home and were promptly detained to see if they had terrorist connections.
2007 Feb 26, Three Frenchmen who lived in Saudi Arabia were killed by gunmen on the side of a desert
road leading to the holy city of Medina in an area restricted to Muslims only. Soon after a 4th died from his wounds. An investigation later revealed that Waleed bin Mutlaq al-Radadi, among the kingdom's most wanted terrorists, was the mastermind and one of the triggermen in the shooting. Al-Radadi was killed on April 6 in a gunbattle with Saudi
(AP, 2/26/07)(AP, 4/18/07)
2007 Feb, Saudi Arabia arrested 10 intellectuals for signing a polite petition suggesting it was time for the kingdom to consider a transition to constitutional
(Econ, 3/17/07, p.54)
2007 Mar 3, Saudi Arabia's king personally welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upon his arrival, a rapprochement many hope will help calm sectarian tensions
threatening the Middle East. The leaders pledged to fight the spread of sectarian strife in the Middle East, which they said was the biggest danger facing the region.
(AP, 3/3/07)(AP, 3/4/07)
26, Israel welcomed the idea of a regional peace summit and Saudi Arabia suggesting it would consider changes in a dormant peace initiative to make it more acceptable to Israel.
29, Arab leaders at their summit in Riyadh agreed on a call for Israel to accept their land-for-peace offer and open direct negotiations with the Arabs. Unlike past summits that at times saw overt feuds break out, the gathering of Arab kings, emirs and presidents showed unusual public unity as it revived the peace offer, which they first made in 2002 only to meet rejection from
2007 Mar, Britain's anti-fraud agency told a private OECD meeting in Paris that they had evidence that BAE paid more than 70 million pounds ($113 million) to a Saudi prince with
influence over arms deal contracts. A US diplomatic cable regarding this was only made public in 2011.
2007 Apr 2, Saudi Arabia signaled it is unlikely to accept an Israeli invitation to
a regional peace conference, saying that Israel must first stop mistreating Palestinians and move to withdraw from Arab lands.
2007 Apr 5, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she
raised the issue of Saudi Arabia's lack of female politicians with Saudi government officials on the last stop of her Mideast tour.
2007 Apr 6, In Saudi Arabia Waleed bin Mutlaq al-Radadi,
among the kingdom's most wanted terrorists, was killed in a gunbattle with Saudi forces. Al-Radadi was implicated in the Feb 26 killing of 4 French nationals.
2007 Apr 15, The official
Saudi news agency reported that Sudan has signed a joint agreement with the UN and the African Union that defines their respective roles in Darfur.
2007 Apr 27, Saudi Arabia’s Interior
Ministry said police had arrested 172 Islamic militants, some of whom had trained abroad as pilots so they could fly aircraft in attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil fields. A spokesman said all that remained in the plot "was to set the zero hour." More than $32.4 million was seized in the operation, one of the largest sweeps against terror cells in the
2007 Apr 29, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah held an unannounced meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the recent escalation in Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Saudi Arabia banned the sale of concentrated fertilizer, a favorite component of homemade terrorist bombs.
(AP, 4/30/07)(Econ, 5/5/07, p.60)
2007 May 3, African neighbors Sudan and Chad signed a
Saudi-brokered reconciliation deal in Saudi Arabia, requiring both sides to cooperate with the United Nations to stabilize Darfur and the adjacent region in Chad.
2007 May 5, Prince
Abdul-Majid bin Abdul-Aziz (65), the governor of Mecca, died after a long illness.
2007 May 8, A newspaper owned by Saudi Arabia's royal family said one of seven recently exposed Saudi
terrorist cells used Syria as a base for coordinating with al-Qaida in Iraq and held training camps in the desert of neighboring Yemen.
2007 May 9, Saudi authorities beheaded an Ethiopian
woman convicted of killing an Egyptian man over a dispute. Khadija Bint Ibrahim Moussa was the second woman to be executed this year. The kingdom last beheaded two women in 2005. Beheadings are carried out with a sword in a public square.
May 9, In France Nayef al-Shaalan, a Saudi Prince, was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in jail on charges of involvement in a cocaine smuggling gang.
2007 May 30, A
Saudi Arabian detainee died at Guantanamo Bay prison and the US military said he apparently committed suicide.
2007 Jun 7, British media reported that Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin
Sultan pocketed about $2 billion in secret payments as part of an $80 billion arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia first signed in 1985.
(SFC, 6/8/07, p.A16)
2007 Jun 23, In Saudi Arabia a judge
postponed the trial of 3 members of the religious police for their alleged involvement in the death of a man arrested after being seen with a woman who was not his relative.
2007 Jul 15,
The Los Angeles Times reported that about 45 percent of all foreign militants targeting US troops and Iraqi security forces were from Saudi Arabia, 15 percent from Syria and Lebanon, and 10 percent from North Africa.
2007 Jul 17, The US freed 16 Saudis from Guantanamo and flew them home, where they were taken into custody for investigation of possible links to terrorism.
(WSJ, 1/17/07, p.A1)
Jul 30, UN inspectors visited a nuclear reactor being built in central Iran, a facility that has been off limits since April. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman criticized a US plan to sell state-of the-art weapons to Saudi Arabia.
2007 Jul 31, In Egypt US Sec. of State Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a joint show of diplomatic force during two days of meetings with Arab allies, part of an 11th-hour effort to rally diplomatic and practical help for the US-backed Shiite-led government in Baghdad. The tour opened talks on a
proposed US arms package for Arab states worth more than $20 billion. US officials extended a 10-year pledge to continue $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt’s military. Military aid to Israel was raised to $3 billion. Weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and 5 smaller monarchies was said to be $20 billion. Total US military aid to the region over the next decade amounted to $63
(AP, 7/31/07)(Econ, 8/4/07, p.39)
2007 Aug 17, Saudi King Abdullah ordered two aid packages worth 20 million dollars each be dispatched to Sudan and Mauritania to help the impoverished African
countries hit by severe floods.
2007 Aug 28, Journalists and diplomats said Saudi Arabia has banned the influential Arab newspaper Al Hayat from distribution in the kingdom, just days
after it reported a Saudi man had served as a key figure for an al-Qaida front group in Iraq.
2007 Sep 6, A Pentagon spokesman said 16 detainees from the US military prison at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, have been transferred to the custody of Saudi Arabia.
2007 Sep 8, Saudi Arabia and an influential Lebanese politician joined calls by Pakistan for former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif to scrap plans to return to the country next week.
2007 Sep 10, Former PM Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan from a seven-year exile, hoping to campaign against the country's
US-allied military ruler, but was immediately charged with corruption and deported to Saudi Arabia hours later. Pro-Taliban militants freed more than 260 Pakistani troops who were kidnapped nearly two weeks ago in a restive tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.
2007 Sep 16, Saudi King Abdullah oversaw the signing in Jiddah of a reconciliation agreement negotiated by several Somali factions in an attempt to stabilize their country and battle the Islamic opposition.
2007 Sep 17, Saudi Arabia announced it has signed a 4.43 billion pound (8.86 billion dollar) deal to buy 72 Eurofighter planes, after tortuous negotiations on one of the largest ever British export orders.
2007 Oct 5, Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, Saudi Arabia's king, announced an overhaul of the country's judicial system, fulfilling a pledge he made several months ago to reform the current heavily-criticized
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7029308.stm)(Econ, 10/13/07, p.51)
2007 Oct 6, A Saudi newspaper said the Saudi Arabian government will temporarily release 55 prisoners recently
transferred from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and will give each of them about $2,600 to celebrate the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
2007 Oct 23, First lady
Laura Bush helped launch a screening facility in Saudi Arabia as part of a U.S.-Saudi initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in the kingdom where doctors struggle to break long-held taboos about the disease.
2007 Oct 30, In London Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah received a lavish welcome from Queen Elizabeth II as he started a state visit amid angry protests and headlines after accusing Britain of anti-terrorism failures. The Policy Exchange, an independent think tank, said Agencies linked to the Saudi government have distributed extremist literature to mosques and
Islamic centers in Britain.
2007 Oct 31, In London King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia met PM Gordon Brown to discuss Middle East issues and counter-terrorism, amid a swirl of
2007 Nov 6, In the Vatican Benedict XVI raised concerns about restrictions on Christian worship in Saudi Arabia in the first meeting ever between a pope and a reigning Saudi
2007 Nov 9, Saudi authorities beheaded Saudi citizen Khalaf al-Anzi in Riyadh for kidnapping and raping a teenager.
2007 Nov 10, Saudi authorities received a group of 14 Saudis Saturday from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Saudi authorities beheaded a Pakistani for drug trafficking. This execution brought to 131 the number of people beheaded in the
kingdom this year. Saudi Arabia beheaded 38 people last year and 83 people in 2005.
2007 Nov 12, Airbus said it was building a custom, 380 VIP double-decker jet for Saudi Prince Alwaleed
bin Talal with a price tag of over $320 million.
2007 Nov 14, A Saudi court sentenced a woman (19) who had been gang raped to six months in jail and 200 lashes, more than doubling her
initial penalty for being in the car of a man who was not a relative. The court also roughly doubled prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping the woman. Their new sentences range from two to nine years. The court also banned the lawyer from defending her, confiscated his license to practice law and summoned him to a disciplinary hearing later this
2007 Nov 18, In eastern Saudi Arabia an explosion and fire on a gas pipeline killed 40 workers. The cause of the fire was an accident during maintenance work and Aramco said it
did not expect a disruption in gas supplies.
(AP, 11/18/07)(AP, 11/20/07)
2007 Nov 23, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations grudgingly agreed to attend an upcoming US-sponsored Mideast peace conference,
despite failing to get any guarantee of Israeli concessions.
2007 Nov 28, Authorities in Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of 208 suspected terrorists in six cells and thwarted several
planned attacks in the kingdom's largest terror sweep to date. They included 8 al-Qaida linked men allegedly planning to attack oil installations.
2007 Dec 16, Millions of Muslims from
around the world gathered in Mecca for the start of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage, as the Saudi Interior Ministry announced tough security precautions.
2007 Dec 17, In Saudi Arabia
a gang-rape victim who was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her was pardoned by the Saudi king after the case sparked rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom's top ally.
2007 Dec 21, In Saudi Arabia the annual 5-day hajj come to a close as some 3 million pilgrims participated.
Dec 23, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said police have arrested 28 men for allegedly planning to attack holy sites around Mecca and Medina during the recently finished Muslim hajj.
2007 The population of Saudi Arabia passed 24 million. The country imported $6 billion in food this year.
(WSJ, 12/12/07, p.A17)(WSJ, 8/26/08, p.A12)
2008 Jan 12,
Saudi authorities beheaded an Indonesian maid convicted of killing her employer. The Interior Ministry said the maid used a pillow to suffocate her employer Aisha Al Makhaled and then stole her jewelry in the southern province of Asir.
2008 Jan 14, In Saudi Arabia President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale to its ally in a region.
2008 Jan 15, In Saudi Arabia Pres. Bush urged OPEC nations to put more oil on the world market and warned that soaring prices could cause an economic slowdown in the US. The kingdom's oil minister said Saudi Arabia will raise oil production when the market justifies
2008 Jan 21, In Saudi Arabia the daily Al-Watan, which is deemed close to the Saudi government, reported that the Interior Ministry issued a circular to hotels asking them to accept
lone women, as long as their information is sent to a local police station.
2008 Jan 29, Saudi Arabia said it had killed some 158,000 chickens after the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain was
found at an infected farm. The agriculture ministry also said more than 4.5 million fowl have been killed in provinces around the capital, but it did not specify when the killing took place.
Feb 14, A leading human rights group appealed to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to stop the execution of a woman accused of witchcraft and performing supernatural acts.
Feb 23, In Saudi Arabia bus plunged over a cliff, killing at least 25 people on board.
2008 Mar 3, Saudi police arrested 28 suspected militants accused of trying to
rebuild al-Qaida’s terror network in the kingdom.
(WSJ, 3/4/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 22, US Vice President Dick Cheney completing a two-day stay in Saudi Arabia, discussed ways to stabilize the energy market
with Saudi King Abdullah.
2008 Mar 23, Saudi Arabia said inflation reached a 27-year high of 8.7% in February.
2008 Mar 24, Saudi Arabia said its king would send a lower level diplomat to the March 29 Arab League summit in Syria, which hoped to help solve the stalemate in Lebanon.
2008 Mar 25, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made a proposal for dialogue among the world’s monotheistic religions. Abdullah said Saudi Arabia's top clerics gave him a green light.
2008 Apr 13, The Saudi Arabia beheaded two Nigerian men convicted of smuggling cocaine into the kingdom. 42 people have been beheaded this year, according to an AP count.
2008 May 2, In Saudi Arabia a German-based quartet staged the first-ever performance of European classical music in a public venue before a mixed gender, largely expatriate audience.
2008 May 16, Pres. Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia and appealed for increased oil production just as prices hit another record high.
2008 May 19, Matrook al-Faleh was arrested at King Saud University in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where he teaches political science. A rights group said it came after al-Faleh publicly criticized conditions in a prison where two other human rights activists are serving jail terms. Faleh was released in January,
(AP, 5/25/08)(AP, 1/11/09)
2008 May 23, A UN food aid agency said the response to its appeal for money to help meet soaring fuel and food costs went beyond what it had hoped to collect, saying
$500 million from Saudi Arabia means it won't have to cut rations.
2008 May 24, In Saudi Arabia authorities beheaded a local man convicted of armed robbery and raping a woman. The
execution brings the number of people beheaded this year to 55.
2008 Jun 5, In Italy a 3-day UN summit aimed at fighting hunger worldwide ended with pledges to boost food output, calls to
cut trade barriers and more research on biofuels. Just before the meeting Saudi Arabia announced a donation of $500 million.
(WSJ, 6/6/08, p.A10)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.70)
2008 Jun 20, In Saudi Arabia
religious police arrested 21 allegedly homosexual men and confiscated large amounts of alcohol at a large gathering of young men at a rest house in Qatif.
2008 Jun 22, Saudi Arabia held
meeting in Jiddah between oil producing and consuming nations as a way to show that it was not deaf to international cries that high oil prices have caused social and economic turmoil. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Saudi Arabia is willing to produce more oil if customers need it without citing any specific output increase. Britain’s PM Gordon Brown called for cash-rich Gulf nations to invest in
renewable and nuclear energy production in Britain and elsewhere.
2008 Jun 25, Saudi officials said authorities have arrested hundreds of suspected al-Qaida-linked militants this year.
Some of those arrested are suspected of plotting attacks against the kingdom's oil and economic installations. Of the 701 arrested 181 were released because there was no proof linking them to the terror network.
2008 Jul 8, A human rights group said domestic workers in Saudi Arabia often suffer abuse that in some cases amounts to slavery, as well as sexual violence and lashings for spurious allegations of theft or witchcraft.
2008 Jul 16, In Spain King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia kicked off an interfaith conference in Madrid, an effort to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews closer together amid a world that often puts the three faiths at odds.
2008 Jul 18, In Spain a Saudi-organized conference of the world's great religions called for an international agreement to combat terrorism, "a universal phenomenon that requires unified international efforts."
2008 Jul 28, Tarek bin Laden signed a deal with Djibouti to build Noor City, the first of a hundred “Cities of Light” that the Saudi Binladen Group planned around the world. Plans called for the city to have 2.5 million people by
2025 and 4.5 million for its Yemeni twin.
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.50)(www.railpage.com.au/f-p1093077.htm)
2008 Jul 30, Saudi Arabia's Islamic religious police banned the sale dogs and cats as pets, as well as
walking them in public due to “the rising of phenomenon of men using cats and dogs to make passes at women and pester families" as well as "violating proper behavior in public squares and malls."
Aug 13, An alleged assault by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (b.1955) reportedly took place on a young model (20) on a yacht on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. An investigating magistrate on the resort island closed the case in 2010 on grounds of insufficient evidence. In 2011 Spain reopened a rape probe after tests done by a forensic lab found semen in the woman and traces
of a sedative called nordazepam.
2008 Sep 11, Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan (79), Saudi Arabia's top judiciary official, issued a religious decree saying it is permissible to kill the owners of
satellite TV networks that broadcast immoral content. On Sep 14 he adjusted his comments saying owners who broadcast immoral content should be brought to trial and sentenced to death if other penalties do not deter them.
(AP, 9/12/08)(SFC, 9/15/08, p.A3)
2008 Oct 12, The United Arab Emirates said it would guarantee domestic bank deposits and with Saudi Arabia promised fresh financial support to domestic banks.
(WSJ, 10/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 21, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal confirmed for the first time that the kingdom has been sponsoring talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban militia.
2008 Oct 21, Saudi Arabia’s interior minister said authorities have indicted 991 suspected militants on charges that they participated in terrorist attacks carried out in the kingdom over the last five years.
2008 Nov 2, British PM Gordon Brown said he is confident that Saudi Arabia will contribute to the International Monetary Fund's bailout reserves after he promised business leaders in the Gulf that they would have a say in any future new world economic order.
2008 Nov 6, A group of Saudi activists began a rare public hunger strike to demand judiciary reform and draw attention to the detention without trial of 11 political reformists.
2008 Nov 15, Gunmen hijacked a freighter with 23 crew off the coast of Somalia. The crew of the Japanese-owned Chemstar Venus consisted of five South Koreans and 18 Filipinos. Somali pirates hijacked the Sirius Star, a newly
commissioned supertanker, more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, along with its 25-member crew. The ship, owned by Saudi oil company Aramco, was capable of carrying about 2 million barrels of oil. The ship was released on Jan 9, 2009.
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/17/08)(AP,
2008 Nov 18, Owners of a Saudi oil supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates grappled with how to respond, as navies patrolling the region said they would not intervene to stop or free the captured vessel.
2008 Nov 23, Saudi Arabia slashed a key lending rate and cut reserve requirements amid intensifying economic headwinds.
2008 Nov, A US diplomatic cable said donors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are sending an estimated $100 million annually to radical Islamic schools in Pakistan that back militancy. The cable was leaked to the public on May 22,
2008 Dec 5, In Saudi Arabia nearly 3 million Muslims from all over the world gathered in Mecca, on the eve of the start of the annual hajj
2008 Dec 7, In Saudi Arabia nearly 3 million Muslims converged on a rocky desert hill outside Mecca to perform the ritual of forgiveness marking the climax of the annual
2008 Dec 10, In Saudi Arabia Muslims poured into Mecca for a final day of the hajj.
2008 Dec 10, The European Commission awarded the first Chaillot Prize to the Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, a Saudi charity which helps divorced and underprivileged women.
2008 Dec 14, It was reported that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns a double-decker "flying palace" and recently raised his bet on Citigroup, lost $4 billion in the past year.
2008 Steve Coll authored “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.”
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.92)
David B. Ottaway authored “The King’s Messenger: Prince Bandar bin Sultan and America’s Tangled Relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.101)
2008 Saudi Arabia abandoned its self-sufficiency agricultural program when it
discovered that farmers were burning through water coming from a non-replenishable aquifer.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.62)
2009 Jan 9, Somali pirates released the MV Sirius Star, an oil-laden Saudi supertanker
seized on Nov 15, after receiving a $3 million ransom.
2009 Jan 14, Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric was quoted as saying it is permissible for 10-year-old girls to marry and those who
think they're too young are doing the girls an injustice.
2009 Jan 19, The Saudi king said his country will donate $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after the devastating Israeli
offensive and told Israel that an Arab initiative offering peace will not remain on the table forever. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency cut its benchmark lending rate a half point to 2%, and its deposit rate by three-quarters point to .75%.
(AP, 1/19/09)(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan 20, Saudi Arabia’s prince Alwaleed bin Talal said his conglomerate Kingdom Holding Co. lost about $7.9 billion in 2008.
(WSJ, 1/21/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan 21, In Pakistan a Saudi called Zabi ul Taifi was among seven Al-Qaida suspects caught when government forces mounted a raid near the northwestern city of Peshawar.
2009 Jan 23, Said Ali al-Shihri, a Saudi man released from Guantanamo after spending nearly six years inside the US prison camp, is now the No. 2 of Yemen's al-Qaida branch, according to a purported Internet statement from the terror network.
2009 Feb 2, Saudi Arabia issued a list of its 83 most wanted suspects living abroad, including six Saudis released from Guantanamo Bay, and asked Interpol for help in arresting them. On Feb 10 Interpol put out an international alert for 85 alleged terrorists
suspected of plotting attacks against Saudi Arabia.
(AP, 2/2/09)(WSJ, 2/11/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 14, Saudi King Abdullah (86), in an apparent bid to reform the religious establishment, dismissed the
head of the feared religious police and a hard-line cleric who issued an edict last year saying it was permissible to kill owners of satellite TV stations that show "immoral" content. King Abdullah also appointed Noura al Fayez as deputy minister of women’s education, the 1st female to hold a ministerial post.
2/15/09, p.A6)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.48)
2009 Feb 17, The Yemeni Interior Ministry announced the surrender of Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, a former Guantanamo detainee who later became an al-Qaida field commander. He was handed over to Saudi
2009 Feb 19, Naser Abdel Karim al-Wahishi, Yemen's most wanted fugitive and leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, used an audio recording to urge Yemenis to rise up
against the government and called on Arabs in Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries to help their brothers in Yemen.
2009 Feb 25, Saudi police were reported to have clashed with Shiite pilgrims
over several days near a cemetery in Islam's second-holiest city, leading Shiite Cleric Sheik Nimr al-Nimr to appeal to the king to put a stop to the "insults" of the religious police. Shiites make up a small minority of the country's 22 million people. Following the incendiary sermon, more than 35 people were arrested in a government crackdown and al-Nimr went into
(AP, 2/25/09)(AP, 4/1/09)
2009 Mar 3, In Saudi Arabia Khamisa Sawadi, a 75-year-old widow, was sentenced to 40 lashes and four months in jail for mingling with two young men who are not close
relatives. The case drew new criticism for the kingdom's ultraconservative religious police and judiciary.
2009 Mar 10, In Saudi Arabia a huge sandstorm blanketed the city of Riyadh with
a thick layer of yellow dust.
2009 Mar 11, Saudi Arabia hosted the leaders of Egypt and Syria in an effort to persuade Damascus to move away from Iran and join with US-allied Arab
countries in working to blunt Tehran's influence.
2009 Mar 22, A group of Saudi clerics urged the kingdom's new information minister to ban women from appearing on TV or in newspapers and
magazines, making clear that the country's hardline religious establishment is skeptical of a new push toward moderation.
2009 Mar 25, Fahad al-Ruwaily, a senior al-Qaida leader, returned
to Saudi Arabia voluntarily and turned himself in. He was on a list of the kingdom's 85 most wanted militants living abroad.
2009 Mar 27, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (84) appointed his
half-brother, Prince Nayef (75), as his 2nd deputy prime minister.
(Econ, 4/4/09, p.51)
2009 Apr 1, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir arrived in Saudi Arabia for a brief pilgrimage, his latest
trip abroad in defiance of an international arrest warrant against him.
2009 Apr 7, Saudi authorities beheaded 3 Pakistanis convicted of killing a fellow Pakistani during a jewelry
heist. This brought to 20 the number of beheadings in the kingdom this year.
2009 Apr 11, A Saudi man convicted of rape and robbery was beheaded, becoming the 22nd prisoner to be executed
by sword this year in the kingdom. An Interior Ministry statement says the man committed the crimes after drinking alcohol.
2009 Apr 30, In Saudi Arabia a lawyer said an 8-year-old girl
has divorced her middle-aged husband after her father forced her to marry him last year in exchange for about $13,000. Saudi Arabia has come under increasing criticism at home and abroad for permitting child marriages. The United States, a close ally of the conservative Muslim kingdom, has called child marriage a "clear and unacceptable" violation of human
2009 May 12, The US won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time along with Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia, four countries accused of serious human rights
(SFC, 5/13/09, p.A2)
2009 May 23, It was reported that Saudi Arabian investors were spending $100 million to raise wheat, barley and rise on land leased from the government of Ethiopia. The
World Food Program estimated that it would spend almost the same amount between 2007 and 2011 to provide 230,000 tons of food aid to some 4.6 million Ethiopians threatened by hunger and malnutrition.
(Econ, 5/23/09, p.61)
2009 May 28, The Saudi Arabia, Monetary Agency froze the bank accounts of Maan al-Sanea, head of the Saad Group and ranked recently as the 3rd richest Arab businessman.
(Econ, 6/20/09, p.70)
2009 May 29, Saudi authorities beheaded and crucified a man convicted of brutally slaying an 11-year-old boy and his father.
2009 May, The Int’l.
Banking Corporation (TIBC), a Bahraini bank, defaulted. It was owned by the Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company of Saudi Arabia. The group later alleged the default was due to fraud orchestrated by Maan Al-Sanea, a Saudi billionaire born in Kuwait. The Gosaibis estimated that Al-Sanea had misappropriated some $9.2 billion.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.65)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.61)
2009 Jun 3, Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri vanished during a pilgrimage to the Saudi kingdom. In October Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said: "We hold Saudi Arabia responsible for Shahram Amiri's
situation and consider the US to be involved in his arrest."
2009 Jun 3, President Barack Obama began his latest bid to open a dialogue with the Muslim world by paying a call on King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Pres. Obama spoke to King
Abdullah about a host of thorny problems, from Arab-Israeli peace efforts to Iran's nuclear program.
2009 Jun 6, In Saudi Arabia a screening of the Saudi film, "Menahi," brought a taste of
the moviegoing experience to Riyadh more than 30 years after the government began shutting down theaters. No women were allowed. Men and children, including girls up to 10, were allowed to attend the show at a government-run cultural center.
2009 Jun 7, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement paving the way for a monetary union and plans for a unified regional currency.
(SFC, 6/8/09, p.C1)
2009 Jun 12, Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Zuhair and two others were reported to have been sent home to Saudi Arabia, where they would be subject to judicial review before entering a government-run "rehabilitation" program. Zuhair had been held at Guantanamo since June 2002 and had refused to eat since the summer of
2005. He was force-fed a liquid mix to keep him alive.
2009 Jun 14, Yemen accused a Shiite rebel group of kidnapping nine foreigners while on a picnic in northern Saada province. The
Interior Ministry official said Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi man suspected of financing Al-Qaida cells in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, has been arrested.
2009 Jun 24, The Gosaibi family
of Saudi Arabia held a creditor’s meeting in Bahrain. Their representatives revealed that the group owed $9.2 billion to over 120 banks all over the world.
(Econ, 7/11/09, p.65)
2009 Jul 15, Mazen
Abdul-Jawad (32), a Saudi man, appeared on the Lebanese-based LBC satellite TV station’s "Bold Red Line" program and shocked Saudis by publicly confessing to sexual exploits. More than 200 people soon filed legal complaints against Abdul-Jawad, dubbed a "sex braggart" by the media, and many Saudis said he should be severely punished. On July 31 Abdul-Jawad was detained for questioning. The Jiddah
offices of the LBC station were closed soon thereafter.
(AP, 8/6/09)(AP, 8/9/09)
2009 Jul 8, Saudi officials said a criminal court has convicted and sentenced an al-Qaida militant to death and given
more 330 others jail terms, fines and travel bans in the country's first known terrorism trials for suspected members of the terror network. The 330 are believed to be among the 991 suspected militants that Interior Minister Prince Nayef has said had been charged with participating in terrorist attacks over the past five years.
2009 Jul 9-2009 Aug 2, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested 44 suspected militants who sought to recruit youths and finance their "deviant activities" through charitable donations.
2009 Jul 22, Amnesty International reported that Saudi Arabia is holding more than 3,000 people in secret detention and has used torture to extract confessions in its anti-terrorism crackdown since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror
2009 Jul 23, Arab health ministers decided to ban children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions from attending the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this
year in effort to slow the spread of swine flu.
2009 Aug 9, Italians newspapers reported that burglars earlier in the week had made off with jewels and cash worth 11 million euros (15.6
million dollars) from the hotel room of a Saudi princess in Sardinia, sparking a diplomatic incident. On Sep 15 Sardinia police said most of the jewels had been recovered.
(AFP, 8/9/09)(AP, 9/15/09)
Aug 19, Saudi authorities said they have arrested 44 suspected militants with al-Qaida links in a yearlong sweep that also uncovered dozens of machine guns and electronic circuits for bombs.
2009 Aug 27, In Saudi Arabia a suicide bomber targeted the assistant interior minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and blew himself up just before going into a gathering of well-wishers for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Jiddah. Nayef was slightly wounded.
2009 Sep 14, The Saudi Interior Ministry said on Jan 18, 2010, that an investigation has shown that three Saudi militants were killed in a Sept. 14 blast outside the country [see Afghanistan and Pakistan Sep 14,
2009 Sep 23, Saudi Arabia opened a new multibillion dollar coed university outside the coastal city of Jeddah. The King Abdullah Science and Technology University, or KAUST, boasts
state-of-the-art labs, the world's 14th fastest supercomputer and one of the biggest endowments worldwide. 817 students representing 61 different countries were currently enrolled, with 314 beginning classes this month.
2009 Oct 7, A Saudi court convicted Mazen Abdul-Jawad for publicly talking about sex after he bragged on a TV talk show about his exploits, sentencing him to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. The program, which aired July 15 on the Lebanese LBC satellite channel, was seen in Saudi Arabia and scandalized conservative viewers where such frank talk is rarely
heard in public.
2009 Oct 7, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah made his first visit to Syria since becoming monarch, the strongest indication yet of thawing relations between the two rival nations following years of tension. The 2-day talks
between Abdullah and Assad focused on the need for Arab solidarity in view of the numerous challenges facing the Arab world.
(AP, 10/7/09)(AP, 10/9/09)
2009 Oct 13, In Saudi Arabia a shootout between
Saudi security forces and al-Qaida militants near, two of whom were disguised as women and wearing explosives belts, left two of the militants and a soldier dead near the southern Yemen border. One of the assailants, Abdullah Hassan Tali Assiri, was captured. The two al-Qaida militants killed were planning to carry out a massive attack. 6 Yemeni accomplices. who were coordinating with the two
militants, Youssef al-Shihri and Raed al-Harbi, were later arrested.
(AP, 10/14/09)(AP, 10/18/09)
2009 Oct 24, A Saudi court convicted a female journalist for her involvement in a TV show, in which a
Saudi man, Abdul-Jawad, publicly talked about sex, and sentenced her to 60 lashes. Rozanna al-Yami (22) is believed to be the first Saudi woman journalist to be given such a punishment. The same court sentenced Abdul-Jawad earlier this month to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. 3 other men who appeared on the show, "Bold Red Line," were also convicted of discussing sex publicly and sentenced
to two years imprisonment and 300 lashes each. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah waived the flogging sentence of the female journalist, the second such pardoning of such a high profile case by the monarch in recent years. He ordered al-Yami's case and that of another journalist, a pregnant woman also accused of involvement in the program, be referred to a committee in the
(AP, 10/24/09)(AP, 10/26/09)
2009 Oct, The Bin Laden family went under the spotlight in "Growing Up Bin Laden," written by Omar bin Laden and his mother, Najwa bin Laden. In Dec, 2009, Omar
bin Laden, revealed that many of the children who had been with their father in Afghanistan escaped to Iran following the 2001 US-led invasion, and were still together in a walled compound under Iranian guard.
2009 Nov 1, A Saudi Arabia Interior Ministry spokesman said authorities have discovered large quantities of weapons in the capital Riyadh belonging to al-Qaida terror network. The discovery included 281 assault rifles and 51 ammunition boxes.
2009 Nov 3, Unidentified gunmen infiltrated from Yemen and attacked Saudi security guards patrolling the Mount Dokhan border area. 3 senior security men were killed.
2009 Nov 4, Saudi Arabia launched a large military incursion across the border into northern Yemen, using fighter jets and artillery bombardments to try to end a Shiite rebellion inside its troubled southern
2009 Nov 6, Saudi Arabia said it carried out airstrikes against "infiltrators" from Yemen that were limited to areas inside Saudi territory, and vowed to press on with the
military action until the border with its restive neighbor was secure. In Yemen, however, a military official said Saudi forces continued to shell rebel position in Saada.
2009 Nov 8,
Saudi Arabia’s assistant defense minister said Saudi forces have taken control of Dokhan mountain straddling the border with Yemen and cleared it of Shiite rebels, in five days of fighting that saw three soldiers killed and 15 wounded.
2009 Nov 9, In Saudi Arabia Ali Sibat (49), a Lebanese psychic who made predictions on a satellite TV channel from his home in Beirut, was sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft. He was arrested by religious police in Medina during a pilgrimage there in May, 2008. In 2010 Saudi authorities said Sibat would
not be beheaded. A 3-judge panel said that there was not enough evidence that Sibat's actions harmed others. They ordered the case to be retried in a Medina court and recommended that the sentence be commuted and that Sibat be deported.
(AP, 11/25/09)(AP, 4/21/10)(AP, 11/13/10)
2009 Nov 10, A Saudi Arabian government adviser says the kingdom has imposed a naval blockade on northern Yemen's Red Sea coast to try to prevent weapons and fighters flowing to Shiite rebels in the area.
2009 Nov 21, Saudi health officials announced the first deaths from swine flu of this year's annual pilgrimage to Mecca, as four pilgrims succumbed to the disease soon after arriving in Saudi Arabia.
2009 Nov 23, Shiite rebels in northern Yemen accused Saudi forces of launching a major cross-border ground and air attack, a day after an alleged failed incursion.
2009 Nov 25, In Saudi Arabia rare, heavy rainstorms soaked pilgrims and flooded the road into Mecca, snarling Islam's annual hajj as some 2.5 million Muslims headed for the holy sites. The downpours add an extra hazard on top of intense concerns about
the spread of swine flu. The torrential rains killed at least 106 people. Most of the deaths occurred in Jiddah, where streets were swamped with water, some houses collapsed and mudslides took place, and in areas around the main highway to Mecca.
(AP, 11/25/09)(AFP, 11/25/09)(AP, 11/26/09)(AP,
2009 Nov 27, In Saudi Arabia vast crowds of pilgrims cast stones at walls representing the devil on the third day of the annual hajj as Muslims around the world began celebrating Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday of the Islamic
2009 Nov 27, Saudi Arabia said nine of its soldiers fighting Yemeni rebels on the border were missing and Saudi King Abdullah vowed to defend the country.
2009 Nov 29, Saudi officials said 5 people died from swine flu during the hajj, a relatively small number considering the event is the largest annual gathering in the world and was seen as an ideal incubator for the
2009 Nov 29, Somali pirates seized the Greece-flagged Maran Centaurus, a tanker carrying more about $150 million of crude oil from Saudi Arabia to the US, in the waters off East
(AP, 11/30/09)(AP, 12/4/09)
2009 Dec 12, Saudi newspapers said Saudi ground forces and Apache attack helicopters had battled Huthi fighters for two days at the Al-Jabri post on the Yemeni
border in the southern province of Yemen, and repulsed attempted Huthi incursions. Saudi military denied a claim by Yemen's Huthi rebels that they seized a Saudi border post.
13, In Yemen air strike killed at least 35 people in the northwest where rebels have been fighting a guerrilla war against Yemeni and Saudi forces. Rebels said 70 civilians were killed as fighter jets struck the town of Razah.
(SFC, 12/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 15, In Kuwait Gulf Arab nations put into force a monetary pact, moving a step closer toward the elusive goal of a single regional currency and greater integration between the mainly oil-rich states. The announcement was made by Kuwait's finance minister came as leaders from the six-member Gulf
Cooperation Council nations were wrapping up a two-day summit in which they launched a regional electricity project. The GCC groups Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.
2009 Dec 22, Saudi Arabia said that 73 Saudis have been killed and 26 gone missing since the kingdom launched an offensive against Yemeni Shiite rebels along the border last month. Rebels, known as Hawthis, have alleged dozens of civilian deaths in Saudi air assaults.
2009 Dec 28, In Niger unidentified gunmen in the remote western desert shot dead 3 tourists from Saudi Arabia.
(SFC, 12/29/09, p.A2)
2009 Robert Lacey, British journalist, authored “Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia.”
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.88)
2010 Jan 12, Saudi Arabia said that 82 Saudi soldiers been killed and 21 are missing since November when it joined the fighting in battling rebels along the Yemeni-Saudi border.
2010 Jan 19, A Saudi court sentenced a teenage girl (13) to a 90-lash flogging and two months in prison as punishment for assaulting a teacher. The assault happened after the girl was caught with a camera phone at school.
2010 Jan 23, Saudi Arabia’s assistant defense minister said Saudi forces have recovered the bodies of 20 soldiers who had been reported missing in fierce battles with Yemeni rebels on the border, raising the Saudi death toll in the conflict to
2010 Jan 25, A Saudi foreign ministry spokesman said Saudi Arabia has donated $50 million in relief to Haiti to cope with the devastating earthquake that hit the country nearly two
weeks ago, making it the largest donation from the Middle East to date.
2010 Jan 25, It was reported that Abdel-Malek al-Hawthi, the leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels, has declared the war with Saudi Arabia over and that he will pull his
fighters out of Saudi territory. At least 133 Saudis soldiers have died in the months of fierce fighting in the rugged border region.
2010 Jan 27, A top Saudi defense official said Saudi
forces have driven Yemeni rebels out of the border region between the two countries, suggesting that the three month conflict along the mountainous frontier may be winding down.
2, Saudi Arabia said it will not get involved in peacemaking in Afghanistan unless the Taliban stops providing shelter and severs all ties with Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Afghan Pres. Karzai was in Saudi Arabia hoping for an active Saudi role to persuade Taliban militants to switch sides.
2010 Feb 8, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula number two Said al-Shihri called for attacks against US interests "everywhere," in an audio message released on the Internet.
2010 Feb 11, The Saudi religious police launched a nationwide crackdown on stores selling items that are red or in any other way allude to the banned celebrations of Valentine's Day.
2010 Feb 15, Yemeni Shiite rebels handed over the first of five Saudi soldiers held captive since their border war.
2010 Feb 15, In London, England, a 33-year-old man was arrested after the body of a Saudi man (32) was discovered at the prestigious Landmark Hotel in the Marylebone area. The suspect claimed to be a member of the Saudi royal family. Prince Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was soon charged for the killing of Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz. On Oct
19 the prince was convicted of murder. Photographs of Abdulaziz stored on a mobile phone had shown that there was a "sexual element" to the abuse.
(AFP, 2/17/10)(AP, 2/19/10)(AP, 10/19/10)
2010 Feb 28,
In Saudi Arabia Indian PM Manmohan Singh pitched for investment in his economy and closer petroleum sector cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the second day of a visit to the Middle East oil giant.
Mar 1, Somali pirates hijacked a Saudi tanker in the Gulf of Aden. The Al Nisr Al Saudi usually carried fuel oil but was empty when it was taken with 14 crew onboard. NATO said one of its destroyers sank a pirate mothership off the Somali coast. Pirate crew members were transferred to a smaller boat and allowed to return to the
(AP, 3/3/10)(SFC, 3/2/10, p.A2)(SFC, 3/4/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 6, The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association said that Saudi security officers stormed a book stall at the Riyadh Int’l.
Book Fair last week and confiscated all work by Abdellah Al-Hamid, a well-known reformer and critic of the royal family.
(SSFC, 3/7/10, p.A6)
2010 Mar 24, Saudi Arabia said it has foiled several
planned attacks on oil installations with the arrests of 113 suspected al-Qaida militants in a months-long sweep.
2010 Apr 20, In Saudi Arabia a police official said that the head of the
powerful religious police has fired the chief of the Mecca branch for advocating the mixing of the sexes. Ahmed bin Qassim al-Ghamidi's suggestion in a newspaper interview this week that men and women should be left to mingle freely directly clashed with a central preoccupation of the force.
2010 May 3, In Saudi Arabia 2 people died in the flooding caused by violent thunderstorms which paralyzed Riyadh this week.
2010 May 5, Kuwaiti and Saudi officials said an Iranian espionage group has been dismantled in Kuwait. The cell was reportedly acting on behalf of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
2010 May 16, Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi resigned from the helm of Al-Watan daily in a move believed linked to official displeasure with articles critical of the state's harsh Islamic rules.
2010 Jun 10, In Saudi Arabia a government-owned daily reported that a Saudi court has convicted a man and sentenced him to four months in prison and 90 lashes for kissing a woman in a mall.
2010 Jun 22, A Saudi court convicted four women and 11 men for mingling at a party and sentenced them to flogging and prison terms.
2010 Jun 29, President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah voiced "strong support" for international efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program, which the West says masks a secret drive to develop the capability for an atomic bomb.
2010 Jul 5, The US deported Imam Ahmad Afzali to Saudi Arabia. He had admitted to lying to the FBI during an investigation into a suicide bomb plot against NYC subway stations in
(SFC, 7/6/10, p.A4)
2010 Jul 27, Iranian Shiite cleric Yasser Khalili was arrested in Saudi Arabia and put on trial on September 3 charged with "raising a shoe" at Prophet Mohammed's shrine. He
was arrested while on pilgrimage by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and "jailed for 38 days in handcuffs. A judge ordered him to be whipped 150 times in public in the prophet's shrine. The story was not made public until Jan 8, 2011.
2010 Jul 30, The leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia, once bitter rivals, made an unprecedented show of cooperation, traveling together to Lebanon in hopes of preventing any violence if members of a militant group are indicted in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri. Saudi Arabia, which was
close to the slain premier, holds sway with Lebanon's ruling alliance led by his son Saad, while Syria and Iran support a rival camp led by Hezbollah.
2010 Jul 31, UNESCO added seven
cultural sites to its World Heritage List including Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, home to nuclear bomb testing in the 1940s and 1950s. Also added to the list were the Turaif District in Saudi Arabia; Australia's penal colony sites; the Jantar Mantar astronomical observation site in India; a shrine in Ardabil in Iran; the Tabriz historic bazaar complex, also in Iran; and the historic
villages of Hahoe and Yangdong in South Korea.
2010 Jul, Saudi Arabia’s population was estimated at 29.2 million.
2011 Almanac, p.673)
2010 Aug 6, Saudi Arabia suspended BlackBerry messaging services, as concerns spread across the Middle East and parts of Asia over security issues with the popular smartphones.
2010 Aug 10, Saudi Arabia's telecommunications regulator said it would allow BlackBerry messaging services to continue in the kingdom, citing "positive developments" with the device's Canadian manufacturer.
2010 Aug 15, In Saudi Arabia Ghazi Algosaibi (70), a consummate statesman and liberal writer, died after a long illness. Algosaibi was close to the kingdom's ruling family. But his writings, critical of Arab governments, were banned
in the kingdom. Only last month, Saudi Culture Ministry lifted the ban on his writings citing his contributions to the nation.
2010 Aug 23, Saudi low-cost private airline Sama, launched
in 2007 to serve Gulf and other Arab states, said it is to suspend services from Aug 24 due to financial problems.
2010 Aug 26, A Sri Lankan housemaid, L. T. Ariyawathi (49), was admitted
to a hospital and planned to undergo surgery to remove 24 nails embedded in her body. Ariyawathi said her employer in Saudi Arabia had inflicted the injuries on her as a punishment. The woman traveled to Saudi Arabia in March and returned home last week, complaining of abuse by her employer.
2010 Sep 20, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council voted 62 to 56 against a memorandum of understanding on bilateral consultations with Denmark after several members expressed unhappiness over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish
2010 Sep 26, The Saudi Gazette quoted Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz as saying: "Saudi Arabia is tackling terrorism with all its might and authorities have so far been successful
in foiling 230 of 240 terrorist attempts." The number covers the period from 2003 to the present.
2010 Oct 15, The Saudi government said Jaber Jabran al-Faifi, a former Guantanamo
detainee, has turned himself in to Saudi authorities. He had rejoined Al-Qaeda in Yemen after graduating from Saudi Arabia's rehabilitation program.
2010 Oct 20, British Justice David
Bean sentenced Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Saud to a life sentence without the possibility of parole for 20 years for the brutal assault at the Landmark Hotel in London on Feb 15.
2010 Oct 20, In its biggest arms deal
ever, the United States announced it will sell up to 60 billion dollars worth of warplanes, helicopters and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, partly to help it counter Iran.
2010 Oct 21,
Afghanistan's new peace council said it would be willing to make concessions to bring insurgents to the negotiating table, and called for Saudi Arabia's help in mediating peace talks.
Oct 29, Authorities on 3 continents thwarted attacks when they seized explosives on cargo planes in the United Arab Emirates and England. The plot sent tremors throughout the US, where after a frenzied day searching planes and parcel trucks for other explosives, officials temporarily banned all new cargo from Yemen. The next day police in Dubai said that the bomb discovered
there contained the powerful explosive PETN and bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida. One of the two powerful bombs mailed from Yemen to Chicago-area synagogues traveled on two passenger planes within the Middle East. A tip of the plot came from Jabir al-Fayfi, a Saudi who was held for years at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. On Nov 5 al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing claimed responsibility for the
(AP, 10/30/10)(AP, 10/31/10)(AP, 11/2/10)(Reuters, 11/5/10)
2010 Nov 13, Saudi Arabia’s first metro transit system, officially the Al Mashaaer Al Muqaddassah Metro, opened in
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.50)
2010 Nov 13, Sudanese Pres. al-Bashir left Khartoum for the annual hajj in Mecca, despite an outstanding arrest warrant issued for al-Bashir by the International Criminal
Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.
2010 Nov 14, An estimated 2.5-3 million Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage. The total number of
tourists to Mecca and Medina, home to the prophet Muhammad, is expected to rise from about 12 million to almost 17 million by 2025. The Saudi Arabia government's commission for tourism and antiquities said revenue from tourism this year would reach $17.6 billion and double by 2015.
2010 Nov 15, In Saudi Arabia nearly 3 million Muslims performing the annual hajj pilgrimage began making their way up the rocky desert Mount Arafat, chanting that they have come to answer God's call.
2010 Nov 16, In Saudi Arabia pilgrims performing the annual hajj cast pebbles at three stone walls representing Satan in a symbolic rejection of temptation, as Muslims around the world celebrated Islam's biggest holiday, the festival
2010 Nov 17, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah stepped down as head of the country's National Guard and transferred the influential position to his son, in an apparent sign that
the elderly monarch is beginning to lessen some of his duties.
2010 Nov 18, In Saudi Arabia rain soaked crowds of Muslim pilgrims and lightning flashed as they performed some of the
final rituals of the annual hajj, stoning symbols of the devil and circling the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site.
2010 Nov 19, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that an
inquiry will be launched into a female migrant's suspicious death in Saudi Arabia. Kikim Komalasari, who had worked in Abha city in Saudi Arabia since June 2009, had died from abuse. She was from Cianjur in West Java province.
2010 Nov 20, In Saudi Arabia a young woman in her twenties defying a driving ban in the capital died along with three female friends when her car overturned.
2010 Nov 22, Saudi King Abdullah (86) departed for New York for medical treatment and temporarily handed control of the world's top oil producer and key American ally to Crown Prince Sultan, his half brother and heir to the throne.
2010 Nov 23, Saudi media said a Saudi woman (53), accused of torturing her Indonesian maid, has been sent to jail while the maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa (23), receives extensive hospital treatment for burns and broken
2010 Nov 26, Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said authorities have arrested nearly 150 al-Qaida suspects over the past eight months, foiling planned attacks on
Saudi government officials, civilians and media personalities.
2010 Nov 28, More than 250,000 classified US State Department documents were released by online whistleblower WikiLeaks.
Among the leaked memos was information that Iranian Red Crescent ambulances were used to smuggle weapons to Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group during its 2006 war with Israel. Memos said the "IRC shipments of medical supplies served also to facilitate weapons shipments." Documents also detailed concerns by US officials in Baghdad about Iran’s influence on Iraq. Memos also said King Abdullah of
Saudi Arabia had repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program to stop Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. One cable revealed that the US kept nuclear weapons in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.
(AP, 11/28/10)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.35)
2010 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia's Rani Investment Group said it would break ground on a 100-million-dollar (75-million-euro) resort on a Mozambique island next year, aiming to cash in on foreign tourists.
2010 Dec 7, In Saudi Arabia the Omma Conference magazine said in a statement posted on its website that police arrested its editor Mohammed Al-Abdul Karim at his home and took him to Hayer prison outside the capital Riyadh. In an article last week, Al-Abdul
Karim predicted that Abdullah's death might cause the oil-rich kingdom to fall apart.
2010 Dec 7, Leaders of six US-allied Gulf Arab nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said they were monitoring with "utmost concern"
developments in Iran's disputed nuclear program and issued a thinly veiled warning to their Persian neighbor not to meddle in their internal affairs. The 2-day gathering of leaders from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman followed the publication of leaked US diplomatic memos that revealed deeper concern among Gulf Arab leaders over Tehran's nuclear program than had
previously been known.
2010 Dec 16, In Saudi Arabia hundreds of Sunni hardliners in Medina attacked those participating in the commemorations, known as Ashura. The day of mourning marks
the killing of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein in the year 680 in present day Iraq. Shiites represented 10% of predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia's 22.6 million people.
22, The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association said in a statement that the Interior Ministry summoned the coordinators of the protest to notify them that their request has been rejected, without giving any reasons. The group's 20 demands included curtailing privileges of members of the Saudi royal family, fighting corruption and nepotism, and creating an independent
2010 Dec 24, In Saudi Arabia police shot dead a man, disguised as a woman, at a checkpoint south of Riyadh after he opened fire on them. Police later identified the man as
Mohammed Issam Tahir al-Baghdadi, an al-Qaida operative wanted for terrorist activities.
2010 Thomas Hegghammer authored “Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism singe
(Econ, 3/27/10, p.91)
2010 In Saudi Arabia an estimated 4 million women over the age of 20 were unmarried in the country of 24.6 million. Many male guardians forcibly kept women single, a practice known as "adhl." Saudi feminist Wajeha
al-Hawaidar described male guardianship as "a form of slavery."
2011 Jan 10, Interpol said it had placed 47 Saudis on its most wanted list after Saudi Arabia accused them of involvement
in the Al-Qaida terror network.
(SFC, 1/11/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 16, A group of Saudi activists launched a campaign, named My Country, to push the kingdom to allow women to run in upcoming municipal
election, scheduled this spring.
2011 Jan 21, A Saudi man died after setting himself on fire in the southwestern town of Samta, in what could be the latest example of a rash of
self-immolations sweeping the region following events in Tunisia.
2011 Jan 24, The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2011 that Saudi Arabia's government is
harassing and jailing activists, often without trial, for speaking out in favor of expanding religious tolerance and that new restrictions on electronic communication in the kingdom were severe.
Jan 29, Saudi Arabia's stock exchange tumbled by over 6 percent, setting the stage for other regional markets to drop as concerns mounted about the violent protests in Egypt.
Jan, In Saudi Arabia flooding struck Jeddah and 10 people were killed.
(Econ, 3/5/11, p.53)
2011 Feb 9, Ten moderate Saudi scholars asked the king for recognition of their Umma
Islamic Party, the kingdom's first political party.
2011 Feb 15, A Saudi official at the Education Ministry said the kingdom plans to remove books from school libraries that are deemed to
encourage terrorism or defame religion.
2011 Feb 15, The London-based Gulf Dialogue Forum said intense contacts are under way among Saudi activists and scholars to form a political party in the oil-rich absolute monarchy. The online
forum said the National Saudi Party advocates establishing a civil democratic government because of the recent turmoil in Tunisia and Egypt.
2011 Feb 23, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (86)
announced an unprecedented economic aid package, including interest-free home loans totaling some $37 billion.
(Reuters, 2/23/11)(AP, 2/24/11)
2011 Feb 24, In Saudi Arabia influential intellectuals
said in a statement that Arab rulers should derive a lesson from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and listen to the voice of disenchanted young people.
2011 Feb 27, Saudi
Arabia’s King Abdullah ordered that government sector workers employed under temporary contracts be given permanent contracts in another to preempt growing calls for reform.
2011 Mar 4,
In Saudi Arabia about 100 members of the Shiite minority staged a protest in an eastern region of the kingdom.
2011 Mar 5, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said demonstrations won't be
tolerated and its security forces will act against anyone taking part in them.
2011 Mar 10, Saudi police in the city of Qatif reportedly shot and wounded 3 Shiite protesters, while trying
to disperse a protest calling for the release of prisoners.
(AFP, 3/10/11)(SFC, 3/11/11, p.A4)
2011 Mar 11, In Saudi Arabia hundreds of police deployed in the capital and prevented protests calling for
democratic reforms inspired by the wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world.
2011 Mar 13, More than 200 Saudis were allowed to protest outside the Interior Ministry to demand the release of
detainees in the largest demonstration in the capital since the regional outbreak of pro-democracy unrest.
2011 Mar 13, In Bahrain riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at anti-government demonstrators blocking the highway into
the capital's financial district and surrounded the protesters' main camp in the capital. More than 200 people were injured there in clashes between riot police and demonstrators.
(AP, 3/13/11)(AFP, 3/14/11)
Mar 14, The 4th $50 thousand International Prize for Arabic Fiction was split between Mohammed Achaari of Morocco, author of “The Arch and the Butterfly,” and Raja Alem of Saudi Arabia, author of “The Dove’s Necklace.” Alem was the first women winner.
2011 Mar 14, In Bahrain a parliament bloc appealed for the king to impose martial law. Some 1,000 Saudi troops entered Bahrain as part of the Gulf countries' joint Peninsula Shield Force.
(AP, 3/14/11)(Econ, 3/12/11,
2011 Mar 18, Saudi Arabia's king promised a multibillion dollar package of reforms, raises, cash, loans and apartments in what appeared to be the Arab world's most expensive attempt to appease residents inspired by the unrest that has swept two leaders from
2011 Mar 20, In Saudi Arabia dozens of Saudi men and women, outnumbered by anti-riot police, protested outside Riyadh's Interior Ministry, demanding the release of thousands of
detainees held without trial for years.
2011 Mar 25, A Saudi news agency says several hundred Shiite Muslims have held protests in eastern Saudi Arabia to demand the release of detainees
and show support for fellow Shiites protesting against the Sunni monarchy in nearby Bahrain.
2011 May 10, The Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE)
said it welcomed Jordan’s request to join the 6-member group. Jordan had first applied for membership in the mid-1980s. The GCC said it would encourage Morocco to also join.
(Econ, 5/21/11, p.54)(http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=13586238)
2011 May 11, Saudi Arabia said three al-Qaida members have returned from abroad and turned themselves in. Officials said four other al-Qaida operatives surrendered to Saudi security after their leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US raid May 2 in Pakistan.
2011 May 16, In Pakistan a Saudi diplomat was killed in a hail of bullets on his way to the country's consulate in Karachi, the second attack on Saudi interests in Pakistan's biggest city in less than a
2011 May 22, Saudi authorities rearrested activist Manal al-Sherif, who defied a ban on female drivers. She was detained for several hours a day earlier by the country's religious
police and released after she signed a pledge agreeing not to drive. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women, both Saudi and foreign, from driving.
2011 May 23, A
Saudi pilot died when his US-made F-15 fighter jet crashed in eastern Saudi Arabia.
2011 Jun 18, Saudi Arabia beheaded Ruyati binti Satubi (54), an Indonesian grandmother, for killing an
allegedly abusive Saudi employer. In response Indonesia later enacted a moratorium on labor exports to Saudi Arabia effective August 1.
(SFC, 8/10/11, p.A3)(http://tinyurl.com/3wvhbpm)
2011 Jun 28,
Saudi police detained one woman while driving in Jiddah on the Red Sea coast. Four other women accused of driving were later detained in the city.
2011 Jul 2, Der Spiegel reported that
Germany has agreed to sell 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia.
2011 Jul 13, The Saudi-funded Asharq Alawsat daily
reported that Saudi authorities have dismantled an Al-Qaeda-linked group of 16 people plotting to overthrow the regime. The group, which called itself the "project of the generation," also engaged in collecting funds under the guise of charitable activities, which were in fact destined for "suspicious foreign parties."
2011 Jul 15, Saudi authorities beheaded a man convicted of attacking a woman and snapping nude photos of her in order to blackmail her for sex.
2011 Jul 18, Spain’s Transport Minister Jose Blanco confirmed that a Spanish consortium has won a contract worth 7.0 billion euros ($10 billion) to build a high-speed rail network linking Medina, Jeddah and the Muslim pilgrimage site of Mecca in Saudi
2011 Jul 25, Saudi authorities blocked the website of Amnesty International inside the kingdom following criticism of a controversial new anti-terrorism draft
2011 Jul 30, Three Saudis were beheaded in the western city of Taef after being convicted of killing fellow citizens in two separate
2011 Aug 3, Saudi Arabia said Abdel-Salam Rashed al-Farraj, an al-Qaida member on the kingdom's most-wanted list, has turned himself in after calling his family from
2011 Aug 6, In Saudi Arabia security forces shot dead a gunman as he opened fire on the Jeddah palace of Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. Another man was arrested
during the attack in which two men opened fire after midnight on the Qasr Shateh residence of Prince Nayef.
2011 Aug 7, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah demanded a stop to Syria’s “killing
(Econ, 8/13/11, p.43)
2011 Sep 16, In Yemen thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding the resignation of Pres. Saleh, a day after the US State Department said it hoped a power
transfer deal could be signed within a week. Officials in Saudi Arabia and Yemen said that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not return to Sanaa and will, instead, remain in Riyadh.
Sep 18, In Saudi Arabia 10 more men at a special summary court were accused of plotting to carry out attacks against US forces in Qatar and Kuwait.
(SSFC, 9/25/11, p.A4)
2011 Sep 19, In Saudi Arabia
Abdul Hamid al-Fakki, a Sudanese man, was executed for the crime of sorcery.
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.73)
2011 Sep 25, Saudi King Abdullah announced that the nation's women will gain the right to vote and
run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015 in a major advancement for the rights of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.
2011 Sep 27, In Saudi Arabia Shaima
Jastaina was sentenced to be lashed 10 times with a whip for defying the kingdom’s prohibition on driving. King Abdullah quickly overturned the court ruling.
(SFC, 9/28/11, p.A2)(SFC, 9/29/11, p.A2)
Sep 29, Saudi Arabian men cast ballots in local council elections, the second-ever nationwide vote in the oil-rich kingdom. Women don't have the right to vote this time around, but will be able to do so in 2015. The councils are one of the few elected bodies in the country but have no real power, mandated to offer advice to provincial
2011 Sep 29, Manssor Arbabsiar (56), a US citizen who holds an Iranian passport, was arrested when he arrived at New York's Kennedy International Airport. Mexico worked closely with US authorities to help foil an alleged
$1.5 million plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington. On Oct 11 Arbabsiar was charged in US District Court in New York with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir (49).
Oct 13, In Austria a Saudi-backed interfaith center, the "King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue," was inaugurated in Vienna, igniting debate over the subject of religious tolerance.
2011 Oct 22, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (b.~1928), heir to the Saudi throne, died in the United States. He had been receiving treatment for colon cancer since 2009. The most likely candidate to replace Sultan as King Abdullah's successor is Prince Nayef (78), the powerful interior minister in charge
of internal security forces.
2011 Oct 27, Saudi Arabia's powerful interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz (78), was named the new heir to the throne in a royal decree read out on
2011 Oct 29, Saudi Prince Khaled bin Talal, brother of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told the kingdom's al-Daleel TV station by telephone that he was raising
a previous offer made by Sheik Awadh al-Qarani, a prominent Saudi cleric who promised $100,000 for capturing an Israeli soldier.
2011 Nov 3, Saudi authorities said nearly 2.5 million
Muslims have gathered in Mecca ahead of the annual 5-day hajj pilgrimage, which begins Nov 5.
2011 Nov 5, In Saudi Arabia millions of Muslims began their annual hajj pilgrimage by
climbing a rocky desert hill outside Mecca. The ascent of Arafat is the first event associated with the five-day hajj.
2011 Nov 6, In Saudi Arabia millions of Muslims stoned pillars
representing the devil in a symbolic rejection of temptation on the second day of their annual hajj pilgrimage, a day that also marks the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. More than 2.9 million Muslims were performing the hajj this year.
2011 Nov 15, Saudi Arabia said it has signed an agreement with South Korea on developing nuclear power generation to help meet the kingdom's rising demand.
2011 Nov 23, Yemen’s Pres. Saleh signed a US-backed power-transfer deal, brokered by neighboring countries in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. It officially transfers power to his vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The deal also called for early presidential elections
within 90 days.
2011 Nov 24, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said minority Shiite Muslims have staged protests in the eastern city of Qatif, and four were shot dead. Shiites make up 10
percent of the kingdom's 23 million citizens and complain of discrimination.
2011 Nov 30, Amnesty International published a new report accusing Saudi Arabia of conducting a campaign of
repression against protesters and reformists since the Arab Spring erupted.
2011 Dec 6, Saudi Arabia sentenced an Australian man to 500 lashes and a year in jail after being found guilty
of blasphemy. Reports said Mansor Almaribe (45) was detained in Medina on November 14 while making the hajj pilgrimage and accused of insulting companions of the prophet Mohammed. The father-of-five from Shepparton in Victoria state, who could not afford a lawyer, suffers from diabetes and heart disease.
2011 Dec 10, Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper reported that a man convicted of raping his daughter has been sentenced to receive 2,080 lashes over the course of a 13-year prison term. A court in Mecca found the man guilty of raping his teenage daughter for
seven years while under the influence of drugs.
2011 Dec 12, Saudi authorities executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery. The woman was arrested in April, 2009, and
later convicted in a Saudi court. Religious police, who arrested the woman, said she had tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging them $800 per session.
15, In Saudi Arabia 35 Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, were arrested after police raided a private prayer gathering. They later faced deportation for "illicit mingling."
Dec 19, Saudi billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company announced a combined investment of $300 million in the social networking site Twitter.
Dec 29, The Obama administration announced an arms deal with Saudi Arabia valued at nearly $30 billion. It included 84 F-15 fighter jets.
(SFC, 12/30/11, p.A5)
2011 Dec 29, Industry sources said Saudi Arabia's state oil company
Aramco was seeking to buy fuel in order to donate about 500,000 tons of products to Yemen in January.
2011 In Saudi Arabia at least 76 death row inmates were executed this year,
according to an AFP count. Amnesty International believed that at least 79 executions during this period. In 2010, 27 people were executed, according to the UN, citing a report by Human Rights Watch.
Jan 2, Saudi Arabia said it will begin enforcing a law that allows only females to work in women's lingerie and apparel stores, effective December 5. The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect.
2012 Jan 3, Israeli credit card companies said hackers claiming to be Saudis disclosed credit card information of thousands of Israelis on the Internet.
2012 Jan 6, An alleged Saudi hacker (19), oxOmar, posted thousands of Israeli credit card numbers and other personal data online, his second politically motivated attack this week.
2012 Jan 12, Saudi security forces clashed with Shiite protesters in the kingdom's oil-rich east killing one person and wounding 3. The clashes came after demonstrations were held in four Qatif region villages to call for the "release of political detainees,
reform and an end to sectarian discrimination. Most of Saudi Arabia's estimated two million Shiites live in the Eastern Province.
2012 Jan 13, British PM David Cameron held talks with
Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh.
2012 Jan 14, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Saudi officials in Riyadh on the first stop of a Gulf tour, as tensions over Iran's nuclear program
sparked fears of major oil supply disruptions.
2012 Jan 14, A French Mirage and a Saudi F-15 collided in the kingdom's northern region of Tabuk without causing casualties.
2012 Jan 16, A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel's stock exchange and national airline. El Al Israel Airlines took down its website after hacker OxOmar, who has been linked to the
Saudi group, warned that both sites would be targeted by allied pro-Palestinian hackers.
2012 Jan 24, Saudi police detained nine men accused of instigating riots earlier this month in the
eastern city of Qatif.
2012 Jan 30, A Riyadh-based Afghan diplomat said Afghan officials and representatives of the Taliban insurgents are to hold peace talks in Saudi
2012 Feb 7, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak arrived in Riyadh at the start of a two-day visit to the OPEC kingpin which comes as Seoul seeks to diversify its oil sources.
Lee Myung-Bak held talks with Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and the head of Saudi state oil giant Aramco, Khalid al-Faleh. Saudi Arabia pledged to ensure a stable supply of oil to South Korea.
(AFP, 2/7/12)(AFP, 2/8/12)
2012 Feb 9, In Saudi Arabia Munir al-Medani (21) was killed and three wounded when security forces exchanged gunfire with "masked men" in the Qatif district of the kingdom's oil-rich Eastern Province. Activists and witnesses said that security forces opened fire when a Shiite procession marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, a celebration forbidden in
ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, turned into a demonstration for reform and the release of Shiite detainees.
(AFP, 2/10/12)(AFP, 2/11/12)
2012 Feb 10, In Saudi Arabia Zuhair al-Said (21)
was killed as security forces dispersed a protest against the death of another Shiite demonstrator the previous day.
2012 Feb 12, Malaysia deported Hamza Kashgari, a young Saudi
journalist wanted in his home country over a Twitter post about the Prophet Mohammed, defying pleas from human rights group who said he faced execution. His tweet: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you. "I will not pray for you."
2012 Feb 19, A Saudi court acquitted rights activist Said bin Zeghair, who spent five years in detention accused of supporting al-Qaida's ideology. The court cited lack of evidence. Bin Zeghair was first detained in 1995 but was freed after nine years
without being charged or tried. Later he was sentenced to five years in prison but was pardoned when King Abdullah ascended to the throne in 2005. He was detained again in 2007.
29, Saudi Arabia said that it would honor a pledge of $3.75 billion in aid to Egypt, after complaints by the Egyptian premier that donor countries were failing to respect their commitments.
Feb, In Saudi Arabia a royal order stipulated that women who drive should not be prosecuted by the courts.
(Econ, 3/3/12, p.60)
2012 Mar 6, In Bangladesh Saudi diplomat Khalaf bin
Mohammed Salem al-Ali was shot and killed on a residential street in Dhaka. Authorities said the gunman and a motive were unknown.
2012 Mar 6, Swedish Radio reported that Sweden has in secret been helping Saudi Arabia plan the
construction of an arms factory to produce anti-tank missiles. Construction on "Project Simoom" has yet to begin.
2012 Mar 14, Saudi Arabia said it has closed its embassy in Damascus and
pulled out its diplomats and staff as Syrian President Bashar Assad steps up attacks against the opposition.
2012 Mar 22, Saudi Arabia media reports said single men in Riyadh will be able
to visit shopping malls during peak hours after Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz eased restrictions aimed at stopping harassment of women.
2012 Mar 26, Saudi King Abdullah ordered the
donation of petroleum products to neighboring Yemen that should cover the impoverished country's needs for two months.
2012 Mar 28, Yemen's Saudi Arabia's deputy consul, Abdullah
al-Khalidi (Abdullah Mohammed Khalifa al-Khaldi), was seized by unknown gunmen outside his home in southern port city of Aden. Al-Qaida's Yemen branch claimed responsibility.
(AFP, 3/28/12)(AP, 5/26/12)
Mar 26, A Spanish court dropped a rape probe against a Saudi prince who is one of the world's richest people, saying his accuser's allegations are inconsistent and do not stand up. The ruling cleared Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (57) and was released today by a court in Palma in Spain's Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. The drugging and sexual assault of a young Spanish model
was alleged to have occurred aboard a yacht moored at the island of Ibiza in the wee hours of Aug 12, 2008.
2012 Apr 1, Syria blasted an international conference on the country's
spreading crisis before it even started in Istanbul, calling it part of an international conspiracy to kill Syrians and weaken the country. Monitors said at least 16 people were killed, including eight soldiers who died during ambushes and gun battles in the east, northwest and near Damascus. Participants at the 60-nation “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf
countries are creating a multimillion-dollar fund to pay members of the rebel Free Syrian Army and soldiers who defect from the regime and join opposition ranks.
(AP, 4/1/12)(AFP, 4/1/12)(SSFC, 4/1/12, p.A5)
Apr 4, A Saudi official reiterated a position he announced late last year, confirming that Saudi Arabia will be fielding only male athletes in London. Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, however, that Saudi women taking part on their own are free to do so and the kingdom's Olympic authority would "only help in ensuring that their participation does not violate the Islamic sharia
2012 Apr 4, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man found guilty of shooting dead a fellow Saudi. His execution in Riyadh brought the total number of beheadings so far this year to 17.
2012 Apr 4, Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, accused of running a death squad, left the Gulf state of Qatar for Saudi Arabia.
2012 Apr 10, In Saudi Arabia a Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh found al-Bajady guilty of several offenses, including participating in the establishment of a human rights organization and harming the image of Saudi Arabia in media articles. He was reportedly tried in secret sentenced to four years in
2012 Apr 17, A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer, Ahmed el-Gezawi, was arrested upon his arrival in the Saudi port of Jiddah. He was on his way to perform a minor
pilgrimage. El-Gezawi had earlier filed a lawsuit in Egypt against King Abdullah over the alleged arbitrary detention of hundreds of Egyptians living in the kingdom. A rights group said he has criticized the monarch in television interviews.
2012 Apr 18, Iran welcomed Saudi Arabia suspending death sentences against several of its nationals convicted for drug trafficking.
2012 Apr 24, Hundreds of Egyptians noisily protested outside the Saudi Embassy to demand the release of an Egyptian human rights lawyer detained on April 17 in Saudi Arabia for allegedly insulting the kingdom's monarch.
2012 Apr 26, Pakistani authorities deported Osama bin Laden's three widows and his children to Saudi Arabia.
(AP, 4/27/12)(SFC, 4/27/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 28, Saudi Arabia's official news agency said the kingdom has closed its embassy and consulates in Egypt and recalled its ambassador following protests over a detained Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Gezawi.
2012 May 14, Liberal civil society groups in Gulf states called on Saudi and Bahraini leaders to postpone plans to announce a union between them, saying such a step must be preceded by a referendum.
2012 May 18, It was reported that Saudi Arabia has banned all government and private agencies from using the Gregorian calendar in official dealings. The use the English language to answer calls or communicate, mainly in companies and hotels, has also been
banned in an effort to preserve the Arabic language.
(SSFC, 5/20/12, p.A4)
2012 May 18, In Iran thousands of people demonstrated in Tehran to protest a proposed union of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
2012 May 23, Saudi Arabia’s SPA state news said Saudi Arabia has signed a $3-billion deal with Britain to buy Hawk trainer jets for the Gulf kingdom's air force. The majority of the Hawks will be made at BAE's plants in Samlesbury
and Warton in Lancashire, northwest England.
(AFP, 5/23/12)(Reuters, 5/23/12)
2012 May 23, Saudi Arabia said it will give its impoverished neighbor Yemen aid worth $3.25 billion and urging other nations to take similar
2012 May 23, In Saudi Arabia a Saudi woman defied orders by the notorious religious police to leave a mall because she is wearing nail polish and recorded the interaction on her camera. Her video went viral, attracting more
than a million hits in just five days.
2012 Jun 16, Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz (79), a half brother of King Abdullah, died, leaving the oil powerhouse with no apparent
successor to the throne.
2012 Jun 18, Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz (76), a half brother to the king, was named the country’s new crown
(SFC, 6/19/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 24, In Saudi Arabia a man (60) died from severe pneumonia complicated by renal failure. He had arrived at a Jihad hospital 11 days earlier with symptoms similar to
severe case of influenza or SARS. In September an Egyptian virologist said it was caused by a new coronavirus. Months later the illness was named MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome).
(SFC, 8/14/13, p.E1)
Jun 26, Saudi authorities beheaded four of its citizens for murder and a Syrian national for drug smuggling.
2012 Jun, In Saudi Arabia blogger Raif Badawi was jailed
for ridiculing Islamic religious figures.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.58)
2012 Jul 8, In Saudi Arabia Sheik Nimr al-Nimr was arrested after he and followers exchanged fire with security forces and crashed into
one of the patrol vehicles. Al-Nimr, who was wounded in the leg, faced charges of instigating unrest in the oil-rich eastern province.
2012 Jul 8, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Saud (78), a senior prince and former defense
minister, died. He wielded influence as part of a council of royal family members that helps select the heirs to rule the country.
2012 Jul 9, In Saudi Arabia 2 Shiites were killed in
overnight clashes with police in the eastern province of Qatif following the arrest of a prominent Shiite cleric and government critic. The new deaths bring to nine the number of people killed in clashes between Saudi authorities and protesters in the Shiite-populated region.
2012 Jul 13, In Saudi Arabia a gunman was killed during an attack on a police station in the Shiite town of Al-Awamiya. Two security forces' patrols came under gunfire from masked armed men on motorbikes in the town of Saihat, wounding four
2012 Jul 17, A Saudi newspaper reported that a Lebanese man, nicknamed the "tattoo king," has been sentenced to one year in prison and 200 lashes. Charges included having met
privately with women.
2012 Jul 20, Saudi authorities warned non-Muslim expatriates against eating, drinking or smoking in public during Ramadan, or face expulsion. The monthlong
sunrise-to-sunset fast began today for Sunni Muslims.
2012 Jul 24, Saudi state TV announced that the government has collected about $32.5 million in donations as part of a national drive
to support "our brothers in Syria."
2012 Jul 27, Saudi authorities detained a number of protesters in the restive eastern Shiite region after they set tires ablaze during an overnight
rally. Security forces opened fire on Shiite protesters in the tense Qatif district of Eastern Province, wounding several as hundreds marched to demand the release of detainees.
30, Saudi Arabia implemented a ban on smoking in government offices and most public places, including restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets and shopping malls.
2012 Aug 4, A Saudi
policeman and an armed protester were killed in overnight clashes in the kingdom's Shiite-populated Eastern Province. the attackers were participating in a protest that took place in Qatif late on Friday.
2012 Aug 15, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar all ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon.
2012 Aug 15, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, comprised of 57 member states,
released a final statement from its two day summit in Saudi Arabia's Muslim holy city of Mecca urging support of Syria’s opposition.
2012 Aug 15, A person with privileged access to the Saudi state-owned oil company’s computers,
unleashed a computer virus to initiate what is regarded as among the most destructive acts of computer sabotage on a company to date. The virus erased data on three-quarters of Aramco’s corporate PCs — documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, files — replacing all of it with an image of a burning American flag.
2012 Aug 16, In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the top world Muslim body, suspended Syria, saying it can no longer accept a regime that "massacres its people", as rights groups accused Damascus of a
new atrocity against civilians.
2012 Sep 18, YouTube said that it was stopping users in Saudi Arabia from viewing “Innocence of Muslims,” an anti-Islam video that has sparked protests
across the Muslim world, after the kingdom's press agency reported that the ruler had banned all access to the film and the site appeared to be blocked there.
2012 Sep 24, Saudi Arabian
authorities began holding some 908 female Nigerian pilgrims heading to Mecca over a rule requiring them to travel with a husband or male companion.
(SFC, 9/27/12, p.A2)(AP, 9/28/12)
2012 Sep 28, Saudi
Arabia began expelling over a thousand Nigerian women on religious pilgrimage to the country because they had arrived without male guardians.
2012 Oct 11, A former US
government official said US authorities believe that Iranian-based hackers were responsible for cyberattacks that devastated Persian Gulf oil and gas companies. Just hours later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the cyberthreat from Iran has grown, and he declared that the Pentagon is prepared to take action if American is threatened by a computer-based
2012 Oct 14, Iranian officials denied any role in recent online attacks against oil and gas companies in the Persian Gulf and denounced American allegations of an Iranian link
to the Shamoon virus that hit Saudi state oil company Aramco and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas.
(SFC, 10/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 25, Some 3.4 million Muslims from 300 nations started their annual
hajj pilgrimage by ascending Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia on a day pilgrims believe offers them a chance to repent their sins.
2012 Oct 28, In northern Yemen a suspected US drone
airstrike targeted al-Qaida militants in a house in Saada province, killing 3 people, two of them said to be Saudis. Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi national who fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, was wounded in the attack. On Jan 24 a security official said al-Shihri, Al-Qaida's No. 2 in Yemen, had died from wounds suffered in the
(AP, 10/28/12)(AP, 1/24/13)
2012 Oct 30, In Saudi Arabia celebratory gunfire, common at weddings, brought down a power line that touched off a fire in the Eastern Province, killing at least 23
women and children.
2012 Nov 1, In Saudi Arabia a fuel truck exploded after hitting portions of a bridge in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, engulfing buildings and cars in flames and killing
at least 22 people and injuring more than 110.
2012 Nov 5, In Saudi Arabia a group of 11 al-Qaida fighters killed two border guards while trying to cross into Yemen before they themselves
2012 Nov 26, In Austria ceremonies were held to launch a Saudi-sponsored and funded center in Vienna meant to promote dialogue between the world's main religions.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke and urged Israel and Hamas to respect their cease-fire.
2012 Nov 28, Gunmen in Yemen opened fire on the car of a Saudi Arabian army officer working
with his embassy's military section, killing him and his Yemeni bodyguard.
2012 Dec 27, In Saudi Arabia a man was killed in clashes with police in an oil-rich eastern region, where the
country's Shiite minority has been holding protests against the Sunni ruling monarchy.
2012 Dec 31, Residents of Saudi Arabia, where booze and New Year's celebrations are banned, flooded
into neighboring Bahrain in search of festivities to ring in 2013.
2012 In Saudi Arabia the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, was completed. It was the
tallest clock tower in the world, the world's largest clock face and the building with the world's largest floor area. The hotel tower became the second tallest building in the world, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa.
2013 Jan 9, Saudi authorities beheaded a Sri Lankan domestic worker for killing a Saudi baby in her care in 2005. Rizana Nafeek, 17 at the time of the killing, had denied strangling the 4-month-old boy.
(AP, 1/9/13)(SFC, 1/10/13,
2013 Jan 11, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah issued two royal decrees granting women 30 seats on the Shura Council, which has 150 members plus a president. The council reviews laws and questions ministers, but doesn't have legislative
2013 Jan 15, A Saudi court convicted an Egyptian human rights lawyer for smuggling drugs into the kingdom. He was sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes. The case of
Ahmed el-Gezawi caused an outcry in Egypt where rights groups claimed he was initially detained in April 2012 for criticizing the kingdom's monarch. They claimed he confessed to the smuggling charges under duress.
2013 Jan 15, In Saudi
Arabia dozens of conservative clerics picketed the royal court to condemn the recent appointment of 30 women to the 150-member Shura Council.
(Econ, 1/19/13, p.52)
2013 Feb 25, Jordan said it has
no official word from Saudi Arabia about one of its citizens, youth activist Khaled Natour, apprehended by authorities there 50 days ago.
2013 Mar 13, In Saudi Arabia 7 men convicted of
theft, looting and armed robbery were beheaded, more than a week after their families and a rights group appealed to the king for clemency. One of the men told The Associated Press in early March that he was only 15 when he was arrested as part of a ring that stole jewelry in 2004 and 2005. Nasser al-Qahtani said he was tortured to confess and had no access to
2013 Mar 19, A British court ruled that two Saudi princes involved in litigation in London over a business dispute did not have immunity from being sued, a new blow to the royal
pair after they failed in an attempt to have the case heard in secret. The litigation, which has been going through British courts since December 2011, stems from sales in 2010 and 2011 of shares in Fi Call Ltd, a company jointly owned by Prince Abdulaziz and Jordanian businessman Faisal Almhairat.
2013 Mar 26, Saudi Arabia said investigations have shown that members of a spy ring arrested last week were working for Iranian intelligence.
2013 Apr 1, A Saudi newspaper said the kingdom's religious police are now allowing women to ride motorbikes and bicycles but only in restricted, recreational areas. They also have to be accompanied by a male relative and dressed in the full Islamic
2013 Apr 14, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal indicated support of allowing women there to drive. He also said that he would help the kingdom's campaign to
cut down on the number of foreign workers.
2013 Apr, A subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co agreed to refinance the debt it used to buy London's Savoy Hotel with a new 200
2013 Apr, Saudi media said an Eritrean military pilot sent by Asmara to reclaim a jet stolen by two fellow officers when sought asylum in the kingdom had herself
2013 May 2, Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry said that five people have died and two other patients were in critical condition with confirmed cases of a new respiratory
coronavirus related to SARS. The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East and several of the people infected had all traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.
May 3, The Saudi Justice Ministry said a special security court has issued 2,145 jail sentences for "supporting terrorism" since it was formed four and a half years ago.
May 5, In Tanzania a bomb thrown from a motorcycle on a Catholic church in Arusha left 2 people dead. 4 Saudi Arabian citizens were among 6 people arrested.
2013 May 14,
Saudi Arabia confirmed four new cases of the deadly new coronavirus virus related to SARS that appears centered in the Arabian Peninsula but that has also been reported in Europe.
May 16, In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, vegetable seller Muhammad Harissi set himself on fire after police confiscated his goods for standing in an unauthorized area. He died the next day.
(AP, 5/19/13)(Econ, 7/13/13, SR p.10)
2013 May 20, Saudi Arabia recorded another death from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 16. More than 20 people have died from the virus worldwide.
2013 May 21, Saudi Arabia executed five Yemenis convicted of crimes and displayed their bodies in public as a deterrent for future criminals. A sixth man, a Saudi, was executed for murder.
2013 May 30, Saudi Arabia reported that 3 more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths globally to 30.
2013 Jun 2, Saudi Arabia reported that 3 more people have died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing the total number of deaths in the kingdom to 24.
2013 Jun 17, A Gulf source told Reuters that Saudi Arabia had equipped fighters for the first time with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Rebels said Riyadh had also sent them anti-tank missiles.
2013 Jun 19, Doctors investigating a new respiratory virus related to SARS, said it spreads easily between people and appears to be more deadly than SARS. The biggest outbreak of the virus, now called MERS, was in Saudi
(SFC, 6/20/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 20, Saudi Arabia said it plans to deport Lebanese citizens who support Hezbollah because of the militant group's role in the Syrian civil
2013 Jul 3, Saudi businessmen, expatriates and several countries welcomed a four-month extension to an amnesty for foreign workers with visa violations, saying it allowed businesses
to operate as usual in the world's top oil exporter.
2013 Jul 6, In Saudi Arabia two more people died from the new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 38 the number of
deadly cases in the kingdom at the center of the growing outbreak.
2013 Jul 9, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate promised $8 billion in grants, loans and badly needed gas and oil to
2013 Jul 18, The European Union's top court ruled that EU authorities unfairly froze assets of Yassin Kadi, a Saudi businessman who was accused of financing al-Qaida, by failing to
explain why he was targeted.
2013 Jul 27, In Saudi Arabia one more man died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 39 the number of deadly cases in the kingdom at the
center of the growing outbreak.
2013 Jul 29, In Saudi Arabia Raif Badawi, editor of the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for founding
an Internet forum that violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought. Badawi has been held since June 2012 on charges of cyber crime and disobeying his father.
2013 Aug 9,
Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said police have arrested two foreign residents suspected of having contacts with al-Qaida's offshoot in Yemen over imminent suicide attacks in the region.
Aug 25, Saudi Arabia said a Saudi man (51) has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 41, while two new cases were registered.
Aug 28, Saudi health authorities said another Saudi man has died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 42, adding a new case was registered.
2013 Aug 30, In Saudi Arabia another Saudi man died of the coronavirus MERS, bringing the kingdom's death toll from the SARS-like virus to 43.
Sep 6, Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said 2 women have died of MERS, bringing the total number of fatalities in the kingdom to 44.
2013 Sep 8, In Saudi Arabia another three people were
reported dead after contracting the MERS coronavirus, bringing the kingdom's total fatalities of the SARS-like virus to 47.
2013 Sep 20, US prosecutors dropped charges against Meshael
Alayban, a Saudi princess accused of enslaving a Kenyan woman as a housemaid, forcing her to work in abusive conditions and withholding her passport. Lawyers for the Saudi royal accused the 30-year-old Kenyan, who has not been named, of lying in an attempt to obtain a visa to stay in the US.
2013 Sep 27, A Saudi diplomat, involved in a fatal road accident, left Iran. An Iranian citizen was killed mid-March when the diplomat's car reportedly hit another vehicle on a expressway in Tehran while speeding at 130 kph (80 mph). Iranian authorities said
the accident happened because the diplomat had been driving while drunk.
2013 Oct 4, The World Health Organization said the global number of infections with the deadly MERS virus has
risen to 136, after hard-hit Saudi Arabia confirmed six new cases.
2013 Oct 8, A Saudi court sentenced a preacher convicted of raping his five-year-old daughter and torturing her to
death to eight years in prison and 800 lashes. The court also ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay his ex-wife, the girl's mother, one million riyals ($270,000) in "blood money.” Ghamdi's second wife, accused of taking part in the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes.
2013 Oct 10, Saudi authorities beheaded a citizen in the western province of Taif after he was convicted of shooting dead another man.
2013 Oct 13, In Saudi Arabia Muslims from across the world poured into a sprawling tent city in the Saudi desert before the start of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage. The number of the pilgrims this year has been reduced in part by concerns over a
respiratory virus centered in Saudi Arabia.
2013 Oct 17, In Saudi Arabia some 1.4 million Muslim pilgrims from 188 countries started to leave Mecca at the end of what authorities hailed
as a successful and incident-free hajj. The hajj now brings in $16.5 billion, about 3% of Saudi GDP.
(AFP, 10/17/13)(Econ, 10/12/13, p.74)
2013 Oct 17, The UN General Assembly elected five new members to the Security Council. The uncontested seats
included Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
2013 Oct 18, Saudi Arabia, in an unprecedented show of anger at the failure of the international community to end the war in
Syria and act on other Middle East issues, said it would not take up its seat on the UN Security Council.
2013 Oct 22, A source close to Saudi policy said Saudi Arabia's
intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran.
Oct 24, Saudi Arabia warned it will take measures against activists who go ahead with a planned weekend campaign to defy a ban on women drivers in the conservative Muslim kingdom.
Oct 26, Saudi activists said more than 60 women claimed to have answered their call to get behind the wheel in a rare show of defiance against a ban on female driving. At least 16 Saudi women received fines for taking the wheel in defiance of the traditional ban on female driving.
2013 Oct 27, Saudi police detained Tariq al-Mubarak, a columnist who supported ending his country's ban on women driving.
2013 Oct 28, Saudi Arabia said one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 52 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak.
2013 Nov 3, A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that a Kuwaiti woman was arrested in Saudi Arabia for trying to drive her father to hospital.
2013 Nov 4, Saudi authorities began a clampdown on illegal immigrants after the end of an amnesty that gave overstayers and workers a grace period to leave or legalize their status.
2013 Nov 5, Saudi media said authorities have rounded up over four thousand of illegal foreign workers at the start of a nationwide crackdown ultimately aimed at creating more jobs for locals.
(Reuters, 11/5/13)(SFC, 11/6/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 6, A Saudi-owned newspaper reported that authorities have detained more than 16,000 migrant workers in the first 48 hours of a security sweep targeting foreigners working illegally in the kingdom.
2013 Nov 6, Saudi authorities beheaded a Pakistani man in the eastern Qatif province after he was convicted of drug trafficking in the kingdom.
2013 Nov 9, In Saudi Arabia two people were killed in Rihadh asa police clashed with rioters, mostly foreign workers facing deportation.
(SFC, 11/11/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 10, In Saudi Arabia thousands of illegal migrants targeted in a nationwide crackdown surrendered to police.
(AFP, 11/10/13)(SFC, 11/11/13, p.A2)
10, Saudi Arabia announced another fatality from the MERS virus, taking its toll to 53, as neighbouring Oman recorded its first death from the respiratory disease.
2013 Nov 12, Saudi
media said 3 Eritrean military officers have asked for political asylum in Saudi Arabia after Saudi air force jets forced their aircraft to land in the southern part of the kingdom.
2013 Nov 12, In Saudi Arabia thousands of
Africans, mostly Ethiopians, surrendered to authorities for a second day Ethiopia announced the death of three citizens during clashes in the Gulf kingdom.
2013 Nov 12, China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia won seats on the UN Human
Rights Council, despite fierce international criticism of their records.
2013 Nov 13, In Saudi Arabia Ethiopia’s ambassador in Riyadh said some 23,000 Ethiopians have handed themselves
in since Saudi authorities clamped down on illegal foreign workers 10 days ago. A Sudanese man was killed in a second flare of clashes since Nov 9 between Saudi riot police, citizens and foreign workers in Riyadh.
(AFP, 11/13/13)(Reuters, 11/13/13)
Subject = Saudi Arabia
End of file.