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Idris al-Senussi
Sayyid (self proclaimed)
Personal details
Born 18 January 1957(1957-01-18) (age 65)
Spouse(s) Anna Maria Quinones de Leon
Children Khaled al-Senussi

Idris bin Abdullah al-Senussi (born 18 January 1957) is an exiled Libyan opposition figure and a claimant to the headship of the Sanussiyyah movement.[1] He started claiming to be heir to the Libyan throne in 1989, though recently stated that if the old Constitution of Libya (1951) (as amended in 1961) was restored post-Gaddafi, there would be free elections and the people would be united under the constitution with "some modifications where the part of the monarch will be taken out" and the people would be able to elect a head of state, who could be called "president or whatever they want to call him".[2] The position of heir to the throne is also claimed by Prince Mohammed El Senussi, the son and designated heir of the last Libyan Crown Prince. Idris al-Senussi returned to Libya on December 23 and stated he will not be active in politics or campaigning for the monarchy.[3] He returned to Libya in December 2011 with his cousin, Ahmed Zubair Al-Senussi.

Early life

Al-Senussi was born in Benghazi, the third son of the "Black Prince" Sayyid Abdalla Abed Al Senussi (1919–88) and his second wife Ghalia bint Nur Saleh. His father's third wife was a daughter of Crown Prince Muhammad al-Rida, the brother of King Idris. He was twelve years old when, on 1 September 1969, the monarchy in Libya was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi. At the time of the coup, al-Senussi was at school in England with his brothers. They found out about the end of monarchy after a phone call from their father.[4] al-Senussi later attended the Brummana High School in Lebanon,[1] as well as attending St. Stephen's International School, Rome, Italy.


The al-Senussi Family

In exile Sayyid Abdalla Abed Al Senussi, the father of Idris, was an advisor to the deposed King Idris who gave Idris' father the task of "restoring legitimacy" in Libya by overthrowing Gaddafi. According to the International Strategic Studies Association with the death of his father Sayyid Abdalla Abed Al Senussi in 1988, the following year Idris claimed that various members of the Senussi royal family agreed that he should be named heir and continue the struggle against Gaddafi's rule.[5] al-Senussi, supported by an Advisory Council, is the head the Sanussiyyah movement which embraces the majority of Libyan tribes. The movement aims to restore a democratically-elected government in Libya with a King as a constitutional monarch. They also have links to several armed and non armed groups both inside and outside of Libya.[6]


In 1991 it was once announced that al-Senussi would take control of a 400 man strong dissident Libyan paramilitary force that had received training from American intelligence, to fight against Gaddafi.[7] What might have become of this paramilitary force is unknown.


In 2003 at the time of the Iraq war al-Senussi announced that he rejected an offer made through intermediaries from Gaddafi to become Prime Minister of Libya, saying "because of what has happened in Iraq, everything is frozen now. Everything may change."[8]

During the 2011 Libyan civil war al-Senussi announced he was "ready to return to Libya".[9] On 21 February 2011 he made an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight to discuss the uprising.[10] In March 2011 it was reported Idris had held meetings at the State Department and Congress in Washington with US government officials. It was also reported attempts at contact had been initiated by French and Saudi officials.[11] In March 2011, when asked if he was the rightful heir, Idris said a family council would decide who would be king, not an heir. And that his father had passed on to him the task of maintaining the legitimacy of the monarchy.[12]

It was reported in December 2011 that Idris had flown to Tripoli from Italy using a pre-1969 passport and spent his first day looking around the former Royal Palace of Tripoli which he described as "the greatest joy of my life, apart from the birth of my children".[13]

Business life

al-Senussi has served as a Director of Washington Investment Partners and China Sciences Conservational Power Ltd.[1] He has also had involvement in the oil and gas industry,[6] having in the past worked for Condotte, Ansaldo Energia, Eni and its subsidiary Snamprogetti.[4] On one business deal alone al-Senussi once earned $80m in commission.[14] He was also the mediator of the contract for the construction of the Port of Ras Laffan.[15]

Marriages and children

Al-Senussi has been married twice. His first marriage to Cindy Heles ended in divorce in 1986 having had one daughter.

He married his current wife the Spanish aristocrat, Ana María Quiñones de León on 23 March 1987 who now styles herself Princess Ana María al-Senussi. They have one son:

  • Khaled bin Sayyid Idris al-Senussi (born 1988) who styles himself HRH Prince Khaled al-Senussi


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Buyers, Christopher (2010). "Libya". The Royal Ark. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-02-19. .
  2. "Interview with Exiled Libyan Prince Idris". Fox News. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-17.  Idris al-Senussi renouncing his desire to be made king of Libya, specifically stating, "The part about the monarch should be taken out (of the post Gadaffi Libyan Constitution)."
  3. Blair, David (23 December 2011). "Libyan 'heir to the throne' returns". London. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Riccardo, Orizio (15 December 1997). "Tripoli bel suol d' affari". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  5. Copley, Greg (2002). Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook. International Strategic Studies Association. pp. 1043. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Copley, Greg (25 February 2004). "Libyan Leadership Returns to Ambivalent Posture as Pressure Eases". The Monarchy and the Sanussiyyah Movement. International Strategic Studies Association. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  7. "Libyan Prince Is Taking Control of Rebels". 29 March 1991. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  8. "Exile: Some Iraqi's evacuated to Libya". Bangor Daily News. 18 April 2003. 
  9. "Libia, principe Idris: Gheddafi assecondi popolo o il Paese finirà in fiamme". 16 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. Krakauer, Steve (21 February 2011). "Who is Moammer Gadhafi? Piers Morgan explores the man at the center of Libya's uprising". CNN. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  11. Copley, Greg (21 March 2011). "With NATO's Operation Odyssey Dawn launch, strategic dimensions come into focus". World Tribune. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  12. "Idris Al-Senussi: "Gadafi está acabado"". ABC. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  13. Irish Independent, Blair, David, 'Heir' to Libyan throne returns from exile, 24 December 2011
  14. The Sunday Times – Lead Article 9 July 1995
  15. "The prince Anti - Gaddafi Square Business, in 'Auxiliary - Idris al Senussi heir to the throne of Libya enters with 20.79% in the company 'Milan". Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

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