Abdullah, who is suspected of having suffered a stroke. A court bulletin issued in Riyadh Friday, Nov. 19 reported his admittance to hospital after it was found "that his slipped disc had some blood clots causing pressure on nerves close the disc. His medical team advised rest."
Medical specialists consulted by debkafile found this diagnosis implausible: There are no important blood vessels anywhere near the spinal disk," they said. "The blood clot either affected his brain or his legs. In both cases, his situation at the age of 87 is clearly declining."
On Nov. 13, the royal court announced that the king would need rest for some time due to a disc indisposition.
(DEBKA-Net-Weekly 470 disclosed the Saudi king's waning state of health in its latest issue out Friday, Nov. 19)
The court notice about the king's back problem was quickly followed by an announcement that the king had relinquished command of the Saudi National Guard, the most effective military organization in the realm, to his son, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah.
Thursday, photos were released to the Saudi media showing the king for the first time in a wheelchair in his palace.
Our Saudi experts stress that all this publicity about the monarch's ill health and diminished capacity is normally unheard-of in the tightly secretive political culture of the oil kingdom.