Due to his influential role in Saudi Arabia, Prince bin Nayef has always been a target. There were several attempts by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization that sought to assassinate Prince Muhammad bin Nayef.
The first attempt was during his tenure as deputy minister of the interior in 2004, when al-Qaeda was at its height. The headquarters of the Ministry of Interior, one of the largest buildings in Riyadh, was targeted. The operation failed, however, when the perpetrators were killed in their car on the way to the attack.
The second attempt came as the prince was on his way to Yemen in January 2009. The prince’s plane was targeted while landing at Sana’a airport, but he escaped without any injuries.
The third attempt took place in the holy month of Ramadan on 27 August 2009, when a wanted al-Qaeda member claimed to have repented and wanted to surrender and atone for his sins. But he blew himself up in an attempt to assassinate the prince. The operation was not successful.
The fourth attempt was thwarted before it began, after Saudi border guards in Jizan discovered suicide bombers with explosive belts who were planning to assassinate the prince. They were killed in a clash with security services.