H/T to Crossroads Arabia for posting news of this development.
[T]he Saudi government is going to establish its own bureau of Diplomatic Security, Saudi Gazette reports. The move seems to be setting up an office somewhat similar in its mission to that of the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in that it will protect missions and diplomats abroad as well as foreign missions within the Kingdom.
The Saudi Gazette story is linked in the Crossroads post, and it says:
The government is setting up a special security unit to protect Saudi ambassadors and diplomatic missions abroad. The unit will also be responsible for providing protection to foreign diplomatic missions in the Kingdom.
Teams of commandos, officers and non-commissioned officers will be trained specifically for the unit known as the “Special Forces for Diplomatic Security”.
It will fall under the Ministry of Interior, said Al-Hayat Arabic daily, quoting informed sources.
This new unit sounds similar to DSS in that it will protect Saudi Ambassadors and diplomatic missions abroad, however, I suspect its function might be limited to personal protection, i.e., bodyguard stuff, rather than encompassing the full range of security responsibilities. The fact that the unit will be located in the Ministry of Interior - the police and counterterrorism arm of the Kingdom - rather than in the Foreign Ministry, reinforces my assumption that this is more of a bodyguard and armed response force.
Of course, this being a Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia operation, the unit will lack for nothing in the way of hardware and resources:
Members of the unit will be armed with the latest sophisticated weapons.
They will be trained to protect diplomatic facilities and residences, and escort ambassadors on official business.
They will also have special training in anti-terrorism methods and air-borne exercises and drive special armored vehicles used to guard diplomats and missions.
With all that stuff, the Kingdom ought to field a totally kick-ass DSS equivalent unit. Not unlike the 2007 movie, only without a Jennifer Garner equivalent, I assume.