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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Robert Trip's picture

Trump just did a sword dance with the guy.

What's going on?

pippi68's picture

Ha ha ha. It's true. That's so funny. I thought you were using some kind of euphemism.


"The helicopter carrying Saudi Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin and seven other people was deliberately targeted by state forces because it is believed Bin Muqrin opposed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s succession to the throne, informed sources told the New Khaleej, reported Middle East Monitor.

According to the sources, Bin Muqrin had recently sent a letter to some 1,000 princes urging them to step away from support for Bin Salman’s succession to the throne, pointing out that the youth must take action.

The sources claim the attack sends a clear message to others within the royal family that Bin Salman will stop at nothing to silence his critics and those who oppose him."

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Who killed Cock Robin?


ReturnOfDaMac's picture

What about the Orb man?  Everybody's forgotten about the orb!

hola dos cola's picture

I think I just stumbled on the smoking gun...


In the longer term, Russia might take up Prince Bandar’s suggestion that Russia become a key determiner of oil prices and output — but in a cartel of its own making, rather than in the manner Bandar had proposed in July 2013 when he said: “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” according to one diplomatic account.

Harry Lightning's picture

The US needs to trade for this MBS guy. He knows how to pull off a purge, not afraid to talk back to money. What he is doing in Saudi Arabia needs to be done i n the US Senate, corral the dead wood from both parties and keep them under house arrest while the President puts in place new laws under martial law that give the President the power to change some of the biggest pronblems facing the country. 

Have the law automatically sunset when it looks like your party will lose the White House, so the criminals can't retalliate when they get out. 

pippi68's picture

We did not make Trump king. He is just temporarily a president. Totally different system of government.

Baron von Bud's picture

Behind the scenes I suspect Putin and Trump agreed that to fix the Middle East, the Saudi treachery had to end. No more funding terrorism or arms deals. No more bribing US politicians like Hillary. MBS says he wants a moderate Islam. The Saudi leadership met with Trump and then they went to see Putin. This looks like a mega-huge change of policy for the Saudis and it's fully supported by West and East. 

hola dos cola's picture

Trump is lobbying for the petro dollar. Nothing more to it.

But even the POTUS cannot come emptyhanded.

What's he offering?

Baron von Bud's picture

The Saudis are letting Russia take the lead on oil pricing and fully cooperating. That's why oil prices have risen so much. Obama's plan to starve Russia's oil revenue by having the Saudis suppress the price failed. Saudi reserves are much lower than claimed. They need higher prices too because their cash reserves are tumbling. It's about money like most things. Putin understood their Achille's heel and waited them out. That guy will go down in history as a shrewd politician seconnd to none.

hola dos cola's picture

With all respect, I think you overrate the Saudi impact on what happened with prices. It did look convincing though. Reality was all others were yanked back and were dealt 'their problems' to clear the stage for the Saudis, in my opinion.

just the tip's picture

putin may not have lasted another 8 or more years.  if hillary or yeb had been elected.  give the american electorate a little credit.  actually, very little credit, as imo they are the ones that got us into this mess.

TheLastTrump's picture

Tell me the 2014 oil price drop was the result of Obama & Saudi's hurt RUSSIA & US oil frackers, who are overwhelmingly conservative...& fuck the rest in the ass who aren't....

Wahooo's picture

Orange guy is clueless, not even involved.

pippi68's picture

They also made a stop in Israel and seemed to get along well there. Interesting times.

Berspankme's picture

MBS is young and smart. He knows SA cannot survive being the global terrorist hangout. The oil is running out. He needs to make SA modern. Personally I think he is for real

TheLastTrump's picture

No shit.


Which leaves the question of Iranian support for global terrorism ala Hizbullah, Hamas or whatever dirty ass they can find.....can these hard core fucks survive in this new open Saudi virtuosity?




crosey's picture

I'm just shy of 60, but apart from the collapse of USSR, I cannot recall a global reshuffling on this scale.  IMO we're only seeing 10% of what's going on.  IMO the big question is why is this going on?  Is this the lead up to a global financial reset?  You better have solid control of most everything before you invoke a reset.

MuffDiver69's picture

Exactly and whoever keeps up the same tired old theme at ZH needs to be fired..This isn’t a so called purge. This looks to be a complete break from the Bush Cartel with the blessing of President Trump. That doesn’t mean these people are to be trusted or respected, but if this holds at the very least some true Globalist scum are going down and hopefully our bought and paid for politicians..

“In the U.S. there are entities who will be severely hurt by the action of the Crown Prince because the Saudi people arrested were financing their corrupt political operations in Washington DC.  The impacted list includes:

Deep state swamp dwellers in DC.  John McCain, Jeff Flake, Chuck Schumer, Bob Corker, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, and every member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Arms Committee.  Those committee members just lost millions.

The Bush and Clinton clans.   Every member within the family of the Bushes and Clinton’s were on the receiving end of hundreds of millions.

The Obama family and the fundraisers for the Obama Library.  The arrest of these Saudi officials and influence agents will wipe out the top tier of their finance operation.

Left-wing ideological media companies, including social media outfits, and some Machiavellian media groups like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.  They too were funded by, or partly owned by, participants and influence agents within the Saudi group that was arrested.

Billionaire globalist, and “Mr. Wall Street”,  Rupert Murdoch.

Any State Department entity that supported the Muslim Brotherhood and its various affiliated enterprises.  Including CAIR and more than a dozen NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations).

Dozens of

TheLastTrump's picture

If you cannot tell who the enemy is by now then you're either sub par IQ or intentionally obtuse....pick one or both I don't give a fuck.

hola dos cola's picture

The pieces have yet to move.

Take it easy. You might not be seeing what you are seeing.

But your 'reset' does qualify.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Exactly.  I dont know what's going down but everything says something bigg is on the way.

TheLastTrump's picture

Fucking A, dude. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggeeeee   movements underfoot.


And they ain't saying jack shit to the average bean.



Better be networking.....outside normal channels.



Some places belong to them, some places belong to you.


If you're a good person & you live in the cities get the fuck out right the fuck now while you still can without pain & suffering. Could care less what color or religion, if you're good move away from the target zones. Disruption is mathemathics, not emotion. No one fucking cares.



dogismycopilot's picture

I told you guys didn't I?

MBS is not fucking around.

He is just getting started.

hola dos cola's picture

You bought him, you own him.

But he won't last.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

Tell me more, tell me more
Did you get very far?
Tell me more, tell me more
Like does he have a car?
Uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh



TheLastTrump's picture

Did you tell us? Or digitalis.

Avichi's picture


pippi68's picture

No wonder the Bushes are so furious with Trump! They are probably literally shaking today!

QIG's picture

it's fear not anger, that is why they shake.

TheLastTrump's picture

sometimes, comrade, it's cold coupled with an empty belly...wodka & chilied beef does wonders

TheLastTrump's picture





Trump laid down the SMACK THE FUCK DOWN on Jeb Bush in the primaries. lol


Sorry Jeb, Trump exposed you as a beta male unfit for rule, just like your comrade in arms, Barack the fuck Obama.

shankster's picture

Never trusted Georgie or his Dad.

QIG's picture

why do image come up bodies in a coffin coverd in urine and slime? 


Oh yes, now I rememebr, something about initiation rights at Skull and Bones. What was it then?

shankster's picture

Sad day for the Bush and Obama dynasties...oh, and the Clintonista's too.

Avichi's picture

Fuc**** Prince Bandar You deserve to be HANGED in the name of Allah ! by your own ISIS creation and Muslim Brotherhood, It will be done in Center of The City, Why dont you call Dubbay and the Sr.Bush, and lick up to DICK CHENEY and Donald Rumsfeld, may be they can come and rescue you from the TORTURE, from you "BROTHER" MBS.


Paging  DUBYA ! Paging Donal Rumsfeld ! Paging Dick Cheney  Paging Sr.Bush (CIA Operative)

shankster's picture

2 planes 3 buildings.

Anteater's picture

Add a miracle spiral-diving 270 degree high speed turn

at 9g's with an allegedly fully-loaded 757, pulling out at 

560 knots and 30 feet off the deck, allegedly by a hillbilly

who couldn't even fly a Cessna 150 in flat and level, into

5 layers of impenetrable concrete, blowing up an entire

Pentagon wing, and turning into mere atoms, no wings, no

giant indestructible turbine engines, no fireball or flames,

no giant tail section, no passengers, no baggage, nothing!


And just happened to blow up all the Congressional files

investigating Goldman:Pentagon disappearance of $2.3T.

The same Goldman:Pentagon that sits at Trump's throne.


Miracle on miracle on miracle, those Y2K mandatory files

archives, kept on a backup hard drive in a NJ data center

were found to have been 'accidentally' erased by an Israeli

'janitorial' service, hacking in and remotely 'bleaching' it.

Three Luciferian Satanic Deep Purple UniParty Miracles!

"You have no choice. You are owned. They own you."



SixIsNinE's picture


i've said it before and i'll say it again,  "Anteater's got a nose that Knows!"


Inthemix96's picture

Nice one Bitchez, all of you, and not just those that peruse the pages of ZH.

The job I do, and I have done this job for most of my adult life by the way, I can tell you without a doubt, its a scientific fact no less, the people are fucked right the cunt off.  I work for council tenants, all the way through to millionaires.  I can now taste the rage in your every day human.  The underlying current I feel through just doing my job is more than palpable, the people are finding, and coming to the same conclusion we all knew they would.  Just the same as we did.

This Saudi bollocks is just that, they be trying to move the cunting goal posts again.

And it wont work, you know it wont.  You are all, whether you like it or not, bearing witness to the end of the life you were deceived to believe.

This is what happens when you lose control of the narrative, and the child-raping, nation destroying, in-bred fuckers know that you know this. 

Those that think they were born to rule are fucking shitting their collective pants, trying to find a way to stop you lot either peeling the cunts alive, or hanging them by the neck, till dead.

You won bitchez


buzzsaw99's picture

that gave me a warm fuzzy. thnx.

SixIsNinE's picture

yes, good to hear ol' Mixer96 again -

hope life is going good for you

gives us some updates some more sometime

charlieparker's picture

They know we know, collectively.

It might still be buried in our subconscious so it isn't that obvious on the surface.  But these fuckers know when the writings on the wall, even if we don't consciously know it ourselves.

When Trump surfaced, a friend of mine asked me if he was going to sort out the mess.  My instinctive reply was that it was factions fighting.  He didn't like this answer.  He wanted a saviour figure.  I told him that Trump is one of the opposition - just a saner part of it.  The alternative was the Bush/Clinton gang and they have gone insane and would lead us straight into a situation where, if they think the game is lost, they'll smash the gaming table into tiny pieces.

Since then it has looked like Trump has sold out, trashed his promises and joined the insane crowd.  Drain the swamp?  Invited the swamp into his administration more like.

Don't think so.

He keeps on looking like a bought and paid for, sold out, washed up idiot.  The insane part of the "deep state", for want of a better phrase, think they have him on the ropes.  He isn't achieving anything.  Even those who supported him are getting mightily pissed-off.

And yet, there has been an eerie calm that has descended since his election, in geopolitical terms.  It has been punctuated by wholly unbelievable random violent outbursts like the Las Vegas outrage.  The deaths were real but the official narrative is bollocks.  Soros seems to have lost his way.

What is Mueller up to?

TheLastTrump's picture



love it, crave m00re of it



some men just want to watch the world burn


other men know it's going to burn & just want to watch, safely