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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Blue Dog's picture

So Beldar from Remulac was arrested??

buzzsaw99's picture

i've got to, eyh, eyh, get away...  [/beldar]

SmittyinLA's picture

Saudi torture = wiping own asses

aloha_snakbar's picture

Completely off topic, but this playthough video is insane. If you like power metal and have not heard of Unleash the Archers... best 7 minutes you will ever spend...

AntiMatter's picture

Reminding you all, is king! (and gold & silver)

Avichi's picture

Panic and  Counter narrative planning started at BUSH RANCH in Texas-

Paging SPIN DOCTOR- Karl Rove report to BUSH Swamp in Texas

Paging James A. Baker 3rd Report to BUSH Swamp in Texas

CultiVader's picture

That upholstery is horrendous.

Captive_Okie's picture

That's what happens when you rely on decorators

Paracelsus's picture

   If Bandar is a spook then he would have "insurance" in the form of evidence against all the players,thumb drives full of data stuck in a safe deposit box in Switzerland.

Stalin got to Trotsky in Mexico but another of his targets sent him copies of the"dirt" he had stashed in Geneva,with orders to publish if any hot tub accidents occurred.

I expect these Saudi princes all have bolt holes set up, gold bars and the like, and dirty photos of each-other with goats.

Good time to buy a used Ferrari or Bentley.

But,yeah,I agree,more interesting stuff happening in the last year than for a long time.

roadhazard's picture

I love raghead on raghead violence.

Pigeon's picture

Yeah, but  quick! Look at "Louis CK" squirrel!

stecha's picture

Dont be fooled as a personal house cleaning. This is allafter meeting with putin. The house of saud aswell as Isreal are changing protectors from U.S. to russian.we will probably see the biggest moves next year.

Posa's picture

KSA- Russia leading a realigned OPEC? Both are desperate to jack up the price of oil, but tyhat will take exquisite coordination

SixIsNinE's picture


haven't heard much halliburton news ...  they moved HQ to dubai in 2006.   wonder how that's going ?


Crazy Or Not's picture

The real ghost players in the region operate out of the likes of Azerbaijian.
Gulf is the chessboard - there's no security holding territory on the board while game is in play. 

chestergimli's picture

I believe Putin and Trump are playing Israel.

JoeTurner's picture

By the pork grease in allahs beard ! These are interesting happenings...

truthalwayswinsout's picture

Nothing beats the smell of napalm in the morning, niggers killing niggers in Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit and Sand Niggers killing Sand Niggers.

The Count's picture

I was once told that the Bushs' and the Saudi's were one and the same entity. Of course that would be the Saudi's that have now been neutered. Pretty sure Bush Sr. is shitting bricks now.

just the tip's picture

i don't think old man bush is capable of doing anything solid.

just the tip's picture

wow.  if bandar bush got caught up in this dragnet, the CIA is gonna kill a whole bunch a people.  maybe even another country.  or two.

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw's picture

I bet John McCain has a headache..........wait

Storm-Clouds's picture

The dead don’t care......

But I’m not buying this desert drama.....

Held in the Ritz Carlton?

Bite my clank.....

Too much Middle East bullshit to swallow....

Hang Bandarharhar Dee har......

Hang the fucking bushes next to him.....

Then I’ll take this bullshit serious....

It’s a shake down nothing more.

Take 800 billion & these bastards still have another 10 billion in chump change...

williambanzai7's picture

Isn't Bandaranaike a toy company?

Only from Bandar!

SixIsNinE's picture

hey WB7 - congrats - HK was just named best public transport in the world.



herbivore's picture

Trump could learn a thing or two from MBS. Throw every Deep State bum to the wolves. I don't support MBS' war-happy actions, but within his own establishment he knows how to exercise power.

Late onset ADHD's picture

Bandar Bush... says it all...

mendigo's picture

No doubt this is not about corruption.

More likely this is about punishment for poor execution.

Typically the ones who ratted would also get taken in.

This could only get better if we next learn that saudi oilfields and jewish settlements are being carpet bombed.

Posa's picture

Perhaps someone can induce Bandar to spill some salient details about 9/11... starting with personally funding the 9/11 hijackers through Messrs. alBayoumi. Fahad al-Thumairy, and Basnan...


roadhazard's picture

Butt butt, mini nukes...




SixIsNinE's picture

dirty briefcase nukes...


Berspankme's picture

I always thought bandar and obama made a cute couple

Ban KKiller's picture

I said it earlier....punishment will be that they MUST live in mecca, that famous shit hole. No more modern cities for them!

George Bush Jr was introduced to camel love in SA. 

Atomizer's picture

It started with Nixon cutting off Brenton Woods based on December 23, 1913 agreement in Federal Reserve Central Banking 

Saudi Arabia was a gimmick through Henry Kissenger to dollar base all oil under Petrodollar. 

OutaTime43's picture

They're purging all those associated with 911. 

Anteater's picture

You'd have to purge Netanyahu and Mossad for that.

NubianSundance's picture

Couple of points, jpost is reporting that ISIS is still fighting in Raqqa, supposedly taken weeks ago, also leader Baghdadi reportedly in Al Bukamal, Syria, US reports ‘no releasable informaton’ about him, a curious turn of phrase. Finally will some people please stop their rabidly anti jewish shit, it stops reasonable commentary.

SteveK9's picture

Not Bandar Bush!

Anteater's picture

Now if Trump rounds up Bush1, Bush2, Rice, Cheney, Powell and Berger,

for a start, then also rounds up Paulson, Corzine, Panetta and Petraeus,

like the shark-lawyer joke, that would be a good start. If he did that, then

I'd vote for him in 2020. But he won't, and you and I won't. He's corrupted.

Ban KKiller's picture

I voted for chaos and crazy with a self survival instinct centre. Trump has nothing to lose but pride. He wants to be remembered as great so maybe, ha fucking ha, he'll surprise.

TheLastTrump's picture

This is why some of you pustules draw breath...give credit where credit is due....





"Saving Private Ryan Omaha Beach"
I Write Code's picture

>As much as $30m (£15m) is alleged to have been paid into Bandar’s dollar account

What a piker.  He should sign up for the online course from the Clinton Foundation, should have been 50x that.

Atomizer's picture

If you forgot to bring a linen for your picnic, call Bandar to lend his head piece. Amazon will have it delivered in hours via drone based on hourly charge. 


spqrusa's picture

Trump's first state visit to SA was to inform the king and crown prince of the evidence of saudi involvement in terror going back decades and principally during 911.

Either they clean house or Trump invades... 9 months later we have these arrests and ideally executions of all involved.

Bandar's last mistake was the Vegas gun deal gone bad. The shooting was cover for exfiltration.


TheLastTrump's picture

Right, mix disinformation in with facts & speculation to form

SixIsNinE's picture

well,  that's kinda the SOP in our reality optional USSA ...

makes for a spicier and juicier zerolounge