Saudi "Deep State" Prince Bandar Among Those Arrested In Purge: Report

Tyler Durden's picture

According to a new report by Middle East Eye, Prince Bandar bin Sultan - Saudi Arabia's most famous arms dealer, longtime former ambassador to the US, and recent head of Saudi intelligence - was among those detained as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (MBS) so-called "corruption purge" that started with the initial arrests of up to a dozen princes and other top officials last weekend.

If confirmed, the arrest and detention of Bandar would constitute the most significant and high profile figure caught up in the purge - even above that of high profile billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal - given Bandar's closeness to multiple US administrations and involvement in events ranging from Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra program (including direct involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal), to making the case for the Iraq War as a trusted friend of Bush and Cheney, to directing US-Saudi covert operations overseeing the arming of jihadists in Syria.

Famous photograph of George W. Bush and his close confidant Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Middle East Eye issued the report based on multiple contacts "inside the royal court" and indicates further that the scale of MBS' aggressive crackdown is much larger than previously reported, and even involves the torture of "senior figures" among those detained:

Some senior figures detained in last Saturday's purge in Saudi Arabia were beaten and tortured so badly during their arrest or subsequent interrogations that they required hospital treatment, Middle East Eye can reveal.  People inside the royal court also told MEE that the scale of the crackdown, which has brought new arrests each day, is much bigger than Saudi authorities have admitted, with more than 500 people detained and double that number questioned.

And shockingly, those sources say that the longtime Saudi 'deep state' power broker and liaison with the West, Prince Bandar, is among the detained:

One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US President George W Bush.  There is no word on his fate, but Saudi authorities said that one of the corruption cases they are looking at is the al-Yamamah arms deal, in which Bandar was involved.

While no doubt Bandar's very well-known role in Saudi "oil for arms" programs which have come to define Saudi relations with the West over the past decades is a trumped up and "selective" charge (insofar as the highest levels of the state have overseen such shady dealing) the al-Yamamah deal in particular - which goes back to the mid-1980's - has been an historical embarrassment to both the UK and Saudi governments (BAE Systems was the prime British contractor involved) for the astounding level of fraudulent accounting exposed in UK courts. 

Concerning Prince Bandar's role in the al-Yamamah deal, Middle East Eye continues

Bandar bought an entire village in the Cotswolds, a picturesque area of central England, and a 2,000-acre sporting estate with part of the proceeds from kickbacks he received in the al-Yamamah arms deal, which netted British manufacturer BAE £43bn ($56.5bn) in contracts for fighter aircraft.


As much as $30m (£15m) is alleged to have been paid into Bandar’s dollar account at Riggs Bank in Washington and the affair led to corruption probes in the US and UK, although the case was dropped in the UK in 2006 after an intervention by then-prime minister Tony Blair.

But more likely is that Bandar has been caught up in this week's MBS dragnet for his closeness to Western heads of state and foreign intelligence services. With MBS' aggressive consolidation of power which could result in ascension to the throne at any moment, and with fate of multiple princes and officials still unknown - not the least of which is now ex-PM of Lebanon Saad Hariri - a shroud of secrecy has resulted in myriad theories concerning what is really happening behind the scenes. 

Likely, Bandar has been detained to ensure a communications blackout with Western intelligence and media until MBS' plans are complete, with the added benefit of ensuring the "anti-corruption" angle to the purges for the consumption of international media. 

Bandar (left) has been close to multiple US administrations
 spanning decades with direct involvement in events ranging from Reagan's Nicaraguan Contra program (including being named in the Iran-Contra scandal), to making the case for the Iraq War as a trusted friend of Bush and Cheney, to directing Obama-era covert operations to arm jihadists in Syria.

Ironically, Bandar himself once seemed to publicly boast about receiving massive kickbacks in relation to Saudi weapons dealing, which perhaps further made him an easy and high profile target in this week's crackdown. According to a royal family profile highlighting corruption in the New York Times from early this week

Perhaps the most famous statement on corruption in Saudi Arabia was made by Prince Bandar. In an interview with PBS in 2001, he said: “If you tell me that building this whole country, and spending $350 billion out of $400 billion, that we had misused or got corrupted with $50 billion, I’ll tell you, yes. But I’ll take that anytime.”

And the New York Times summarized the key events of the multi-billion pound weapons deal with the UK as follows:

Weapons contracts have long been a source of wealth. British media reported that Prince Bandar received well over $1 billion in secret payments from BAE Systems, the leading British military contractor, over the course of a decade. The son of founding King Abdulaziz’s personal doctor, Adnan Khashoggi, became a billionaire as an arms dealer and go-between for weapons makers and members of the royal family.

Meanwhile news of Bandar's possible arrest and detention hasn't spread very widely in international media reports as of this writing, but it will be interesting to see the response in the West should the news be confirmed. Will Bandar's friends in Washington and London go to bat for him? Or will Prince Bandar quietly recede into the background of a permanent forced retirement from public life?

Most likely the latter will be the case. Regardless, for friends of the former powerful Saudi intelligence director on either side of the Atlantic and within Saudi Arabia itself, Bandar no doubt knows where all the skeletons are buried, and this alone makes him a worrisome, volatile and unpredictable figure in the midst of a transfer of power.

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ludwigvmises's picture

Bandar was the piece of shit who lobbied the Bush administration to fly out the entire Bin Laden family from the US without questioning them after 9/11. 

pot_and_kettle's picture

That's the cocksucker who threatened Putin and Sochi 2014 and Putin ended throwing him out of his office  ;-)

BaBaBouy's picture

What happens Next ?

Will they all be publicly executed House Of Saud Style ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Silenced Forever

evoila's picture

Might as well look into Tom Barrack at Colony Capital....

BaBaBouy's picture

I'll never get that picture of Thump doing the Woar "Sword Dance" with the Sheiks ...

I think we only have 5% of the actual story thats going on Here ...

"FatFinger" had to hit GOLD hard today for some reason.

mc888's picture

I like the drums. But I could do without the soccer chanting.

Pinto Currency's picture

Trump and Putin both big smiles today.

Far from over though.

House of Saud's control of Saudi Arabia is in play.

Manthong's picture



Bin Dar, done dat…. Or WTF ????


In case it is not obvious to the casual observer.. the whole Sawhoodie  system is being uprooted……………..

Something is going on there…………………………………………….  


got orb       ?????



Escrava Isaura's picture

tmosley below: One wonders if the peanut gallery will EVER understand what has happened here? It should be fucking obvious that Trump is eliminating the Deep State, starting with the Saudis.

Oh boy. Highly recommend that you, and many more here, do some research before commenting.

It’s the other way around. Saudi Arabia is playing Trump.

 “The Saudis played Donald Trump like a fiddle” - Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution.



Manthong's picture


To use an idiot bushism and an Ivanaism…

Maybe you misunderestimate the Donald here


Escrava Isaura's picture


Trump clearly expressed his views of Saudi Arabia during his Presidential campaign.

We’ll find out if he’ll follow-through in the next three years.

I don’t think he will.


Manthong's picture


Well, the good news is that Prescott Bush, the grandfather of GHW and great grandfather of GW with his business partner (Herbert Walker) financed Nazis from their Union Bank……… so everything is cool

Escrava Isaura's picture

Please don’t change the subject.

We’re talking Saudi Arabia and Trump.

My point being that Saudi Arabia is run by right wingers. And Trump will love them. So, all Trumps’ campaign rhetoric about Saudi Arabia will be just that: Rhetorical.


bobcatz's picture

"Saudi Arabia a strategic pivot." - Israeli Neocon

They're pivoting it towards chaos and war.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

The picture of Bush and this Arab dude was taken just before their tongues touched. Yuk..

Eyes Opened's picture

Afterwards...A private session of "sword" fighting... Condy won....

Richard Chesler's picture

Maybe now they'll go after Queen bin Soweeto and Princess al Kalinton.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Just turn it all into a sea of glass already.

Manthong's picture


heck... at least it wasn't hooker pee on a Moscow bed like CNN and WaPo wants you to believe.


guru69's picture

got it wrong cretin, Prescott was GHW's dad and W's grandpappy.

big time nazi sympathizer.... always envious of the Kennedys

all of them assholes.... like you

Bubuzinho's picture

You're quoting a piece published by the Brookings Institution, which receives funding directly from Dr. Evil himself, Soros...Yea, they're about as unbiased as CNN, Washington Times and The Huffy Post....Still voting PT as well?


WordSmith2013's picture

"All Saudi actions are taken to neutralize the counter-coup in Vegas.

Things will get much worse before they get...."


Counter-coup in Saudi Arabia played out in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 at the Mandalay Bay
Vigilante's picture

Dammit...why don't you go the whole 9 yards

Throw in some inter-galactic conspiracy....some Elvis sightings...Roswell.

Stir well.

Freddie's picture

I want to see Prince Bandar Bush lose his head.  Looks like Bush liked French kissing Saudis as did Obola.

NeoCon Condi Rice.  Some idiots over at Free Republic think she should repalce Goodell as NFL commish. I want the NFL to die.

MozartIII's picture

" Some idiots over at Free Republic think she should repalce Goodell as NFL commish"

Quite a few of those!

Manthong's picture




..if anybody can kill the NFL...

that fake conservative negress can.

MozartIII's picture

Elvis is still doing my laundry!

old naughty's picture

No one is a fixture in the court of the fallen prince,
flip-flop happens and those who gained are now
under the thumb (um, palm) and those who lost
are now dancing on top of the backhand. all
over this hellhole planet of THEM.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Bubuzinho: You're quoting a piece published by the Brookings Institution, which receives funding directly from Dr. Evil

First, that was just a quote. The article is not by the Brookings Institute.

Second, Brooking Institute has left and right ideologies within. There’s nothing wrong with a think tank left and right views.

The problems are not within the think thanks but, within the current ‘capitalist’ reality.

The problem is that the people from the left and right that were left behind by the current capitalist system are angry to the point that facts don't matter for them.

Once anger arrives at a capitalist social order it becomes very hard to reason.

Your post is a good example, religious education is another. Social views another. So is science. And this list is long.

The problem of failing is within the capitalist system and not the ideologies within.

Saudi Arabia is a great example. Saudi Arabia is supposed to be the richest and most powerful nation in the world. The capitalist system never allowed them that opportunity.

As it will never allow the working class either. Just look around your town.


Captain Nemo de Erehwon's picture

The report simply assumes that Trump is vain and so is being manipulated by the Saudis. Perhaps he is getting something real in return for his support: cleaning house of at least some corrupt people who were deeply embedded with US and other global events. I agree that neither capitalist nor socialist systems help anyone in the end except those who get to the top, but then the systems start to break down. If Saudi Arabia was supposed to be the most powerful country in the world but the capitalists did not let that happen, and kept down all the local workers as well, then if the report were to be true then Saudi Arabia did become a very powerful country because they control US policy via Trump ... who was elected because of the workers being kept down by the capitalists :).

Escrava Isaura's picture

Saudi’s cleaning house has to do with its internal issues/power grabbing. It doesn’t matter in the end.

Saudis cannot abandon the US. And neither the US can abandon the Saudis.

The most “telling” word of the whole week, in my view, was when the Secretary of State Tillerson used the word ‘restrain’ about Saudi Arabia and Lebanon exchange of words.

Restrain is code word for ‘go ahead with’ war.   


MK13's picture

Somehow your reason and logic was lost on me at '... Saudis Arabia ... is the most powerful nation on earth...'. But is that something that WaPo, Huffy Post, or Brookings Institute pay you for posting? How much do internet trolls go for these days?

Escrava Isaura's picture

If we have lived in a free market economy, Saudis would have been the richest nation, because they possess the most important, and largest energy source of the world, crude oil, while having less than half of 1 percent (0.44%) of the world population.

They could have easily acquired most of the gold in the world, meaning having the strong currency.

Also, Egypt, which borders Saudi Arabia, would have been an agriculture powerhouse because they didn’t need slave.

Which leaves us with this question: Why that you don’t know these?

Because the west indoctrination system is very good. And, if you’re in America, it’s the best in the world.



tmosley's picture

Hahaha, the commie thinks he's people.

Attitude_Check's picture

Says the Brookings Institute ????




house biscuit's picture

You may or may not be right

But you've got to do a hell of alot better than the Brookings Institute

balanced's picture

Can't take anyone who quotes the Brookings Institute seriously. Why don't you through in some Hillary, Obama, and Soros quotes as well to really drive it home.

SmittyinLA's picture

Brookings Institution, Trump has their panties in a bunch

Al Gophilia's picture

Notice how its only these self-appointed "royal" and elevated, deep state, elite cunts who get to kill people with some sort of empowered impunity, as if it's a normal thing to do. It's historically sanctioned, old boy.

earleflorida's picture

america doesn't need OPEC anymoar. period!

the years since 1979 - present are now no longer needed in ussa policy--- the petrodollar (the liquidity [keynesianism] money trap) is DOA!!! 

america has,... along with the EU (designed to crush the EU ?) has wasted its hegemony on a failed FRB System of 'QE to Infinity' leaving our deficit compromised for decades.with are currency worthless with no way out but interest hikes being all but China's 'Dionysius Trap'?!? 

so,... the great empire of short duration finds the 'Sword of Damocles' thrust through its very heart by the 'City' of money changers now teaching the Chinaman the ways of the Chosen?!?

BennyBoy's picture


Prince, princess, king, queen, duke, etc. = mafia clan monopolistcally terrorizing a territory.

EnglishMajor's picture

Why hasn't he already retired to a ranch in Texas to be near his family?

weburke's picture

people dont realize the prince is a jew.