1. The Assassination Of King Faisal
In 1975, the Saudi Arabian King Faisal was assassinated by his nephew, Prince Faisal Ibu Musaed. King Faisal had been known for his modernization drive, close ties with the United States, and support for pan-Islamism and conservative forces throughout the Arab world.
2. Rape At The Plaza Hotel
In 2010, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd was enjoying his opulent and carefree lifestyle at New York’s Plaza hotel. The prince and his entourage had been staying at the Plaza, partially owned by a royal cousin, for four months when one of his men, Mustapha Ouanes, raped a young barmaid who had fallen asleep in his room. Mr. Ouanes, a mechanical engineer in the employ of construction and telecommunications company Saudi Ogere, was tasked with modifying the climate-control system in the prince’s suite to match his tastes.
3. Phoney Dinner For Prince Charles
According to Wikileaks, in 2006, US Consul General Tatiana Gfoeller wrote a cable detailing a disastrous dinner held by Prince Khalid bin Faisal al-Saud for the visiting Prince Charles. The two princes have a history, sharing a love for landscape painting and even holding an art exhibition together in London and Riyadh. Prince Khalid was said to be nervous about hosting a party for Prince Charles, as his palace was run-down and in dire need of renovation. The entire meeting had been organized by someone described as a “prominent Western businessman,” who was then told by Prince Khalid that it was his responsibility to renovate the ground floor of the palace. When the businessman asked if he could decline, he was given an emphatic “no.”
The businessman did his best with the three weeks of time that he had. First, he cut power to the place, so no one could turn on the lights and see what was up. Holes in the walls were filled with Styrofoam, and projectors were set up to project colors and designs onto the walls. The whole dinner was to be lit only by candles, to further obscure the hasty renovation job. The ruse worked; Prince Charles commented on how luxurious and beautiful the palace was, and the businessman was rewarded with paintings from both of the princes and a “tip” of over $13,000. The businessman was also quoted in the cable for describing Prince Khalid as being “extremely cheap.” This record of stinginess took on new significance when Prince Khalid became governor of Mecca, and there were speculations he could be tapped for the throne.
4. Prince Turki And Princess Hind
In 1973, Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz married beautiful 20-year-old Hind al-Fassi (daughter of a Sufi mystic barred for religious reasons from entering the Saudi kingdom) over the objections of his family. He divorced his first wife in the process. For nine years, they traveled the world with Hind’s mother, sister, and brothers, Mohammed, Allal, Mustafa, and Tarek, as well as a large entourage. They lived a lavish and outlandish lifestyle and caused scandal and headlines wherever they went with their unrestrained spending and wild parties. They eventually settled down in a North Miami condominium, the Cricket Club, overlooking Biscayne Bay.
They went there at the urging of Alvin Malnik, a multimillionaire Jewish lawyer with mob connections whom they had met while staying in London. He had charmed Hind’s brothers with his dashing and adventurous image and quickly managed to take control of the prince’s finances. Various chaos involving the al-Fassi brothers ensued. Mohammed, jealous of Malnik’s power, went to Turkey and adopted a young boy and then dumped his Italian girlfriend to marry a Saudi girl, all apparently in a failed attempt to impress his brother-in-law. Seventeen-year-old Tarek kidnapped a young Saudi woman in a London discotheque, proposed to her, and made a cash offer to her husband to divorce her. Malnik’s son, Mark, fell in love with Hind’s sister. The move to the United States was intended for Malnik to finally sort everything out.
5. The Death Of Bandar Abdulaziz
In 2010, Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir al Saud was arrested for beating his manservant and gay lover, Bandar Abdulaziz, to death in an expensive London hotel room. The death is said to have come after weeks of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the prince. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, in a rage fueled by champagne and “sex on the beach” cocktails, Mr. Abdulaziz was beaten 37 times and bitten on both cheeks. He died as a result of his injuries.
6. Halloween At Faisal’s
Halloween is banned in the Saudi kingdom, as are most foreign holidays, for their “un-Islamic” nature.
In 2009, Prince Faisal al Thunayan held an underground Halloween party at his residence, inviting over 150 young Saudi men and women. Prince Faisal is a Cadet Prince, meaning that he is not in line for the throne but still enjoys all the protection and perks of being a member of the royal family. While, the religious police were kept at bay by khawi, young Nigerian bodyguards of a similar age who grow up with their princes and serve for life and are considered utterly loyal.
7. Royal Lockup
According to televised testimony by Princess Anoud al Fayez, one of the late King Abdullah’s numerous ex-wives, divorced by him several times, who now lives in the UK, King Abdullah kept the four daughters he had with her, Princesses Jawaher, Sahar, Hala, and Maha, under virtual house arrest in the Jeddah royal compound. They are said to have been under the control of three of their half-brothers for the past 14 years, a supposed punishment for racy lifestyles and criticism of the royal family.
Others among the king’s daughters have had successful careers and even championed human rights, so why these four were singled out is something of a mystery. The women, now in their thirties and forties, are locked up under terrible conditions. In an interview with RT last year, Princesses Hala and Maha claimed that they were running out of food and water. In an interview with an Arabic TV network, the princesses said that they are being held as punishment for their stance on women’s rights and opposition to male guardianship over women. The Saudi authorities have never charged them with a crime and refer to it as a “private matter.”
8. The Execution Of Princess Misha’al
This is one Romeo and Juliet story that ended just as badly as the original. Princess Misha’al bint Fahd al Saud was in an arranged marriage (by all accounts, an unhappy one) with an older cousin. She left for Beirut to pursue further studies. There, she met Khaled, the son of a Saudi diplomat, and began an affair. They maintained the affair back in the kingdom and finally attempted to flee the country together in 1977, but they were caught before they got very far.
The princess refused to simply denounce her lover and confessed to the adultery, enraging her conservative grandfather, Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, brother of the king.She and her lover were taken to a parking lot in Jeddah, and 19-year-old Princess Misha’al was executed by a gunshot to the head while her lover watched. He would be dispatched by beheading, which was reportedly botched so badly that it took four strokes to complete.
The Saudi authorities attempted to keep the whole affair quiet, but it caused international outcry in 1980 when it became the subject of a docu-drama entitled Death Of A Princess, broadcast on the BBC and PBS. The Saudis responded by trying to suppress the film, and they failed. They retaliated by expelling the British ambassador to Riyadh, withdrawing 400 Saudi royals from Britain, and causing the UK £200 million in lost revenue from canceled orders and product boycotts. The film was rebroadcast in 2005.
9. Prince Nayef’s Cocaine Plane
In 2004, Prince Nayef bin Fawwaz Al Shalaan was indicted in the United States and France for his involvement in a drug-dealing operation between South America and Europe. The scheme dates back to a love affair between the prince and a Colombian woman named Doris Mangeri at the University of Miami in the 1970s. They kept in touch and occasionally met over the years, with the prince even acting as a virtual surrogate father for her children. In 1998, the prince is alleged to have met with members of a Colombian drug syndicate introduced through Mangeri.
The prince allegedly proposed smuggling cocaine on his private Boeing 727 jet, then laundering money through a bank he owned, Kanz Bank, “the only Islamic private bank in Geneva.” The prince has a history with drugs and was once indicted in Mississippi on narcotics charges in 1984. The Colombians agreed to his plan, and 2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb) of cocaine was smuggled into a stash house in Caracas via potato truck, then transferred into 100 empty Samsonite suitcases, and finally placed aboard the prince’s plane. Moved to a Paris stash house, some of the cocaine was then shipped off to Italy and Spain. Unluckily for the conspirators, the Paris stash house and a Spanish shipment were intercepted by authorities. As they squabbled over blame, the Colombians found themselves arrested in the United States.
In court, the prince asked why he wanted to smuggle drugs, and the prince replied: “The world is already doomed. [I’ve been] authorized by God to sell drugs!!!”
10. Princess Basmah’s Fake Sheikh
Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz al Saud, the granddaughter of the first Saudi king and the daughter of the second, has long been a thorn in the side of the country’s rulers due to her liberal reformist outlook and human rights campaigning. She has publicly stated her wish that the kingdom would adopt a constitution ensuring gender equality and civil rights, reform of divorce laws, the education system, and social services to reduce discrimination against women, and getting rid of the mahram, a male chaperone who must accompany Saudi women in public.
Despite this, she still became a target for those who seek to bring down the ruling Saud dynasty. In 2013, she was allegedly tricked into a Facebook conversation with a hacker who had broken into the account of a personal friend, whom she refuses to identify but described a 30-year-old sheikh in the United Arab Emirates. Her Skype conversations with the fake sheikh were recorded, while he used flattery to try to lure the princess into sexually explicit conversations. She also claimed that her computer was hacked, with videos and photos stolen. After several months, the blackmailer revealed himself, demanding that £320,000 be sent to an Egyptian bank account.
The princess decided to go public instead, so the blackmailer released a 40-second video to YouTube showing the princess smoking and blowing a kiss with her head uncovered. While innocuous to Western eyes, this constituted a major scandal for Saudi society. She believes the blackmail plot is linked to the individuals behind the Mujtahidd Twitter account, a network of dissidents who publish intimate details of members of the royal family in order to destabilize the regime