A Look at the Life of the Saudi Royal “Honest Guard”
By : Salem Shaheen
Major General Abdulaziz bin Badah Al-Fagham Al-Mutairi (20 July 1971 – 28 September 2019), was the bodyguard of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Al-Fagham was known by Saudis as the “honest guard,” due to his extreme devotion to the King. He was also the Commander of the Special Guard Force of the Saudi Royal Guard.
He was one of the most prominent figures accompanying King Salman bin Abdulaziz in previous years until he proved his loyalty, and became his bodyguard, as he was from a family that won the trust of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
His father was also personally accompanied King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for 30 years. The late Major General Abdulaziz Al-Fagham, who alarmed the Saudis with the news of his murder, was shot dead after a personal dispute.
He was born on July 20, 1971 in the city of Al-Sa`ira and grew up there until he completed high school, then joined the King Khalid Military College of the Ministry of National Guard in 1989 and graduated from it in 1992.
He was appointed by the National Guard in the Special Brigade, then was transferred to the Royal Guard during the reign of King Abdul Allah bin Abdul Aziz. His father Badah Abdullah Al-Fagham, also worked as a personal escort to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, as he used to accompany him everywhere for a period of up to 30 years.
Abdulaziz Al-Fagham graduated from the Military College of King Khalid after achieving unprecedented success. The Saudi National Guard appointed him as a special general, and then he was transferred to serve in the royal guard, after which he worked as a liaison officer in the king’s convoys.
Moreover, Al-Fagham received training courses in the Thunderbolt which qualified him to guard the most important personalities in the country through personal security, and he also received other training courses in securing important figures. He was promoted from the rank of brigadier general to major general in 2017.
Al-Fagham was known for his devotion to the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who worked with him for nearly 10 years, during which he progressed until he became the king’s bodyguard.
This sincerity prompted King Salman to choose him as his bodyguard, due to his distinguished professional skills, quick wit, and good behavior. He received an exceptional promotion from brigadier general to major general in 2017.
Al-Fagham was named the best bodyguard in the world by the World Academy in 2017. The Saudis also called him the “shadow of the kings,” the “honest guard,” and “the right man at the right time” due to his professionalism and his keenness to accompany the king everywhere and in different official events.
Al-Fagham is the third of his brothers, Talal, Nawwaf, Abdullah, Badr and Saud. He has two sons and a daughter: Abdullah, Nawaf and Rima.
Major General Abdulaziz Al-Fagham joined the King Khalid Military College at the beginning of 1989 and graduated from it at the end of 1991.He was appointed to the Special Brigade and transferred his services to the Royal Guard after its merger with the Special Brigade.
The late Major General enjoyed great popularity, love and admiration from the Saudi society, who saw in him an attractive and striking personality. He was distinguished by a number of professional skills, quick wit, good behavior, and extraordinary dedication to his work.
At the farewell of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz he was walking alone for the first time, after the death of King Abdullah. They used to watch Al-Fagham associated with the king’s accompaniment throughout the years of his reign.
There were many expressions of sympathy and deep sympathy with King Abdullah’s bodyguard, while a number of tweeters published multiple photos of Colonel Al-Fagham, who was accompanied by the late King Abdullah on local and international occasions.
For 10 years, Colonel Abdulaziz Al-Fagham used to leave the late king only when he slept, until that bilateral bond between the king and his bodyguard became stuck in the minds of Saudi citizens and other guests and officials coming from abroad as a fixed mental image. Whenever Colonel Al-Fagham appeared in it, they remember the late king in all his movements and ceremonies.
Colonel Abdulaziz Al-Fagham was known for his remarkable height, which is a necessary requirement for any bodyguard. The cameras usually monitored the movement of his eyes, which were almost indifferent, except when watching King Abdullah during his various movements.
He used to wear a suit belonging to the Royal Guard, and sometimes a suit and tie during foreign visits. Colonel Al-Fagham’s voice never appeared, despite his presence on all occasions full of cameras or television.
Colonel Al-Fagham accompanied the late king, ending a 10-year career. Since assuming the task of the bodyguard, he finished his last work with King Abdullah, when he deposited him in his last resting place.
The camera spotted him while he was in the hospital taking an ambulance to the mosque, then in the same car to the cemetery alongside King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the masses of mourning princes.
Al-Fagham was performing his usual duties, trying to hide his feelings with his strict features, but the effects of sadness were visible on him.
In 2017, a picture of Major General Abdulaziz Al-Fagham, the bodyguard of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, won a great wave of admiration. It was widely reported by international newspapers and social media leaders. Major General Al-Fagham was shown in the photo as he provided assistance to King Salman in wearing his shoes before the start of the Riyadh summit.
He was killed on Saturday September 28, 2019 in the city of Jeddah, in the house of his friend Faisal Al-Sabti in Al-Shati neighborhood, which he was visiting, in the presence of Turki Al-Sabti, when he was visiting the home of his friend (Faisal Al-Sabti) .
The perpetrator called Mamdouh Meshaal Al Ali was at home (and he was a former friend of the General). A discussion arose between them due to an old personal dispute, so Mamdouh Al Ali left the house then came back with a weapon, and fired shots which struck Abdul Aziz Al-Fagham.
The perpetrator barricaded himself in the same house and exchanged fire with the security authorities that killed him immediately. Al-Fagham was taken to hospital and he died there from his injuries.
His name is Mamdouh Meshaal Mamdouh Al Ali, and he was unemployed. His previous job was an aircraft maintenance technician at BAE Systems Saudi Arabia; his father is Dr. Meshaal Al Ali, a former member of the Saudi Shura Council.
Al-Fagham was buried in his final resting place in the Cemetery of the Haram Martyrs in Al-Sharaa ‘after praying over him in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, on September 29, 2019.