King of Saudi Arabia 2005– Born in Riyadh as the son of Abd-al Aziz ibn Saud, he was educated at the court. In 1962 he became commander of the National Guard, and in 1982 he became Crown Prince to King Fahd. When Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, he became Saudi Arabia's regent in all but name. He led a drive against corruption, though his greatest challenge came in 2001, when Osama Bin Laden, who had received Saudi funding, attacked the US on September 11. Although an ally of the USA, he did not allow the US to engage in the Iraq War from Saudi Arabian soil. Since then, he has steered a difficult course. Cracking down on Islamic terrorists received little public support in a country infused with conservative Islamic views.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Islam.