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General Intelligence Department (Saudi Arabia)

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Saudi Arabia's national intelligence service, the General Intelligence Department (GID), grew to substantial size in the 1970s, under the directorship of Prince Turki al-Faisal.

It was described as organizationally modeled after the Central Intelligence Agency, with directorates including operations and intelligence, as well as signals intelligence. [1] The general impression is that it does not have a direct action capability of its own, but recruits foreign individuals or groups; Turki was said to have told a CIA colleague "We don't do operations. We don't know how. All we know how to do is write checks."[2]


  1. Steve Coll (2004), Ghost Wars: the Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Penguin,pp. 79-82
  2. Quote attributed to Frank Anderson, a retired CIA officer and partner of journalist Nat Kern, quoted by Coll, p. 72