1975-King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Assasinated

King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was assassinated on March 25, 1975. He was shot by his half-nephew, Prince Faisal bin Musaid, in the Royal Palace in Riyadh.

    King Faisal had invited members of his family to a majlis, a traditional Arab social gathering, and it was during this event that he was shot. Prince Faisal bin Musaid had recently returned from the United States where he had been studying, and it was here at the majlis that he arrived to greet his uncle.

    As King Faisal leaned in to kiss his nephew in greeting, Prince Faisal bin Musaid pulled out a pistol and shot him. The king was quickly rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his wounds later that day.

    The motive behind the murder has been a topic of speculation. It's known that Prince Faisal bin Musaid's brother had died in a protest against King Faisal's television broadcast policy several years prior, leading some to believe that this was a revenge killing. Regardless, Prince Faisal bin Musaid was arrested, found guilty of regicide, and executed in June 1975.

    King Faisal's reign, from 1964 to 1975, was a period of significant change in Saudi Arabia. He implemented many modernization efforts, attempted to counteract the influence of communism in the region, and played a significant role in the 1973 oil crisis by placing an oil embargo on nations that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. Despite the circumstances of his death, he is generally remembered positively for his contributions to the modernization of Saudi Arabia.