Saudi ministry profusely denies report of King Abdullah’s death

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, February 10, 2011 14:17 EDT
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Saudi Arabian officials were on a PR offensive Thursday following a report that claimed King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, 86, had suffered a heart attack after speaking to US President Barack Obama about the protests in Egypt.

The initial report, which alleged that the incident went unreported due to political sensitivities in the region, came from the Islam Times.

The site did not appear to be one that traffics in conspiracy theories, although at least one of the links on their front page pointed to an article that examined the beliefs of a Sept. 11 theorist by the name of “Michael Everyman.” Another claimed that Egypt’s embattled president had escaped from the presidential palace to an unnamed air force base.

Other stories appeared to show a greater emphasis on original reporting by the publication, with extensive coverage in Middle Eastern countries.

“King Abdullah talked with Obama about the situation in Egypt over the phone yesterday,” they wrote. “Obama and the King got into a heated debate about their opinions of what Hosni Mubarak should do. After the phone call sources stated that King Abdullah was furious and then suffered a sudden heart attack.

“Doctors ran to his resuce but were unable to save him. He was pronounced dead, but his death was not reported due to the sensative [sic] conditions that exist in the region. The Saudi Arabian government will reject this claim; but the ball is in their court to prove that he is alive.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was quick to offer a rebuttal. Noting the king had just returned from Morocco following an alleged surgery on his back, he claimed Abdullah was in “excellent” health and anxious to return home.

“The doctors are suggesting a certain amount of therapy and he’s doing twice as much as they tell him,” al-Faisal said. “He is his usual self, assured of what he can do and ready and looking forward to going back to work and going back home.”

In the phone call with President Obama, which did indeed take place, Abdullah reportedly warned his US counterpart against humiliating Egypt’s president.

President Obama has said repeatedly that President Mubarak must begin “now” on a “transition” of power.

Though Mubarak initially said he’d serve out the remainder of his term, rumors swirled Thursday that he was indeed planning to resign and hand off power to his vice president. The rumor remained unconfirmed at time of this story’s publication, but he was due to address the nation later in the evening.

In Saudi Arabia, the king’s advanced age, combined with his back hernia and recent surgeries, has raised concerns about the future of the country, which has been ruled by the Al-Saud family since 1932.

The crown prince, Abdullah’s half-brother Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz who has been defence minister since 1962, is second in line to the throne. He’s also in his mid-80s and has been slowed by what is believed to be cancer. Little seen for the past two years, Sultan returned last November from Morocco to assume control of the royal government in Abdullah’s absence.

Prince Nayef, 77, is the king’s half-brother and is third in line to the throne. He was appointed second deputy prime minister in March 2009.

With AFP.

Image source: US government.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLF5SUA5RDYXG54WWF5SHMVRAI X

    Sounds like a joke taken out of conext.

  • Anonymous

    Why are all the rulers over there so old?
    86, 82 mid ’80′s, 78.
    Doesn’t anyone ever retire?
    No wonder there’s such a political mess over there.

  • Anonymous

    Shades of Francisco Franco!

  • Anonymous

    He is a leader of a country that is a “beacon of democracy”

    . . . right ?

  • http://www.BaltimoreGreenCurrency.org Shrapnel

    Damn. Better find out who is fourth in line, quick.

  • http://beyondpoliticsand911.com DoYouEverWonder

    I bet Abdullah isn’t the only one having heart palpitations right now.

  • http://richardprins.com RichardPrins

    “Obama and the King got into a heated debate about their opinions of what Hosni Mubarak should do.” Sounds very unlikely.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PCRNBMCPGAOEFGLTXYZVLQ2QPA Razi Masoud

    Smells like the system is collapsing

  • Anonymous

    The rulers of the Middle East are dinosaurs fearing extinction.

    Did you know that the Republicans in the U.S never left the 17th century?

  • Anonymous

    How difficult can it be to confirm if someone is still alive?

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully this is the new Obama strategy – stop supporting dictators/monarchs.

    Seems like this could be a lot more effective at allowing democracy to flourish in the Middle East than invading Iraq.

  • Anonymous

    Check out who was 4th in line in the US Government on Sept. 11, 2001.

  • Anonymous

    I was lucky I wasn’t taking a sip of coffee when I read that.

  • Anonymous

    Part of being a dictator is being terrified of “retirement”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Obama killed the Saudi King! woohoo!

  • Anonymous

    Still dead, but that is unconfirmed.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Stephen C. Webster in your 1st paragraph you allude to conspiracy theory of said website by reffering to an article about 911. If I’m not mistaken this article must have mentioned the official version of the events of 911 with19 Arab hijackers etc.. which is clasic conspiracy theory. Look it up you hack. And I suppose there is no conspiracy involved with Obama wanting to keep Mubarek or his zionist torturing vice president right where the fuck they are. Fuck you, you hack parroting mainstream media pariah. Learn to do some real research idiot.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    He can’t help it. He reads the NY Times.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    The only people Obama kills are at the other end of a smart bomb.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    I thought the Inquisition was earlier than that.

  • Anonymous

    This was no joke, people are feeling big change in this part of the world. Remember prince Bandar who was the Ambassador for the US. We haven’t seen hide or hair of him since the “rumors” of an attempt coup which he was part of. They know this king and his brother is on their death beds, and they want them gone.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    …considering what a wuss Obama is.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    Why accumulate all those riches if you can’t retire and enjoy it?

  • Knot

    All the dictator heads of US client states must be getting a bit nervous now, and wondering if the American promises of support are worth the blood they are written in. If Obama doesn’t keep giving Mubarek his full support, the other US clients, like the Saudis, must be ordering their dirty tricks squads and secret police to start getting their plan B’s in order. I assume that if the US doesn’t back the Saudi dictators against the people, then the CIA would have about twenty years of covert op’s outed, and that oil would be $200 a barrel. That’s some mighty fine leverage.

  • Anonymous

    What’s all this denial shit about? March his ass out on a balcony somewhere and let him wave at the passing cars, that should prove he’s alive. Denying he’s dead only fuels speculation that he is! Better yet put him on a plane and fly him back to Dallas where he can be photographed holding hands with Bushee one more time for posterity!

    Or maybe one of these women from this stupid ad at ArabMatchmaking.com can hook up with him and come back and give us all a report on whether he is dead or not!

  • http://www.BaltimoreGreenCurrency.org Shrapnel

    That young whippersnapper Robert C. Byrd a mere 83 years young at the time – I bet he would have resigned in favor of Colin Powell had it come to that, but Cheney was in no danger that day, unless some patriot arrested him on charges of treason.

  • http://www.BaltimoreGreenCurrency.org Shrapnel

    Did you check the link? American Everyman suggests US government involvement in the attacks, and then lists Noam Chomsky and Bill Maher (both apologists for the 19 supermen and vaporizing plane conspiracy theory) as supporting this idea. Quite the most confused dude on the net is American Everyman, but given the name, that’s not really surprising is it?

  • Anonymous

    Apparently, the wrong Arab has died. Not that this one was a saint but, gee, at least it could have been that asshole Moobarak. Now, here’s the big question: was that the work of Mossad too?

  • Anonymous

    Good thing Jeffords went indy, otherwise it would have been Thurmond.

    It’s normal for the PPT to sign a letter in advance opting out of the line of succession, but the word is that Thurmond, ever the a-hole, wouldn’t do it.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like an opportunity for a Weekend at Bernie’s in Saudi Arabia.

  • Dirk

    Classic scenario, except instead of a dead hooker, you’ve got a dead autocrat surrounded by hookers.

  • LeftCoastLeftie

    How long until the FauxSnooze douchebags start to report that Obama ‘murdered’ the King. Who’s first? You, Steve Douchey? Maybe your RentBoy Brian? What’s that blond whore’s name? Or will they all defer to the King? Beck of course.

  • Anonymous

    When your job description matches the average man’s idea of retirement, then what’s the point. “Well, after 60 years of yachting, hunting, travelling the world, and sitting on my ass, I think it’s high time to retire and get a factory job.” I think not.

  • Anders Christensen

    Wow! If true, some of these dictators are truly pushovers.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    I am not sure it matters since a royal family is merely a revolving door of new dictators who will jump into place like shark teeth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JTFRQEKODXEDIF6UKOLGDEIPAA Eric

    The next wacky comedy coming out from the Middle East: “Weekend at Abdullah’s.”

  • Anonymous

    Heart attack? I think he pooped his pants after realizing that his card is the next to be drawn from the deck of
    failed dictators.