Prince Bandar bin Sultan (Bandar Bush) named new Saudi intelligence chief

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ejazr, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This could be a sign of things to come in Syria given the fact that he was instrumental in running the anti-Soviet Afghan war in the 80s. He is also very aggressive and a hawk in the Saudi establishment but also very close the US establishment.
    The previous person Muqrin had a softer approach on most issues.


    Saudi Appointment Suggests Bigger Regional Ambition - WSJ.com
    RIYADH—Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah appointed a veteran former Saudi ambassador to Washington as the head of the country's intelligence agencies Thursday, restoring an internationally popular Saudi to prominence as the kingdom pushes for stronger action on Syria.

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was popular with Western leaders as Saudi envoy to the U.S. from 1983 to 2005, succeeds Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al Saud.

    Prince Muqrin has been criticized privately by diplomats, and publicly by Saudis on Twitter, for perceived ineffectiveness as the head of Saudi intelligence. Prince Muqrin will serve instead as an adviser to the king, the official Saudi Press Agency said, in announcing the change.

    For Saudis and Westerners who remember Prince Bandar as a driving force rallying international support and procuring weapons for Muslim fighters seeking to push Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the 1980s, the appointment was a sign that the Saudis might play a more influential role as uprisings that may remake the Arab world, especially in Syria.

    "In these very hectic moments for Saudi foreign policy…we need Bandar bin Sultan," said Abdullah al-Shammri, a political analyst. "He's a volcano, and we need a volcano at this moment."

    Mr. al-Shammri cited what he called Prince Bandar's "special relationship" with American officials. He also mentioned parallels between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia working together in the 1980s against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and current circumstances in Syria, where the U.S., Saudi Arabia and others are trying to overcome Russian objections to tougher action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

    The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was also responsible for the good relations Prince Bandar enjoys with China, noted Michael Stephens, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar.

    "If they're looking to increase multilateral engagement on the Syrian issue, he's their man," Mr. Stephens said of the Saudis and Prince Bandar.

    Mr. Stephens noted, however, that Saudi intelligence hasn't traditionally been a place for active engagement in Saudi foreign-policy aims.

    Prince Bandar, son of the late defense minister and crown prince, Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud, wielded enormous influence as Saudi ambassador to Washington for two decades, and was a close ally of then-President George W. Bush and other U.S. leaders.

    His removal in 2005 was officially described as stemming from personal reasons, although some speculated that illness or a falling out with King Abdullah was responsible.

    Prince Bandar had kept a much lower profile in recent years as head of the kingdom's national-security council.

    The official Saudi Press Agency would show him at the side of the country's leaders, however, at times when top Americans visited Riyadh, most recently during Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus's talks here this month.

    Saudi officials had blamed the U.S. early in the Arab uprisings for failing to more actively support former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak before his ouster in February 2011.

    Today, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are again working closely together in opposition to Mr. Assad, and at a time of heightened international tension over Iran's nuclear program.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Just more on his profile
    Bandar Bush Rides Again | The Jewish Week

    The new Saudi spy chief was once one of the most popular and well-connected diplomats in Washington, where he served as ambassador for 22 years and enjoyed such easy access to both Bush White Houses and so close to both presidents that he earned the nickname Bandar Bush.

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan has kept a low profile since he was recalled in 2005 by King Abdullah, who this week named him to head the kingdom's General Intelligence Directorate. His Washington connections – including with Jewish members of Congress -- and experience suggest his surprise appointment was intended to strengthen US-Saudi relations following disagreements over responses to last year's Arab uprisings.

    A former jet fighter pilot with a preference for Cuban cigars, the Dallas Cowboys and the good life, Bandar, 63, is considered the regime's leading hawk and a strong supporter of the Syrian rebels trying to overthrow Bashar Assad. He is said to favor arming the rebels, which Saudi Arabia and Qatar are doing already.

    David Ottaway, his biographer and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, said Bandar is "just the right person for the right time in Saudi."
     
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Wasn't it Baer who wrote about Prince Bandar in his book ?
     
  5. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    what are its application for india ??
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^^ Not sure if there will be any direct implications for India yet. But it is an interesting development.

    Bandar made his last visit to India in March 2011 in the initial months of the "Arab awakening" revolutions that were taking place and had a personal meeting with MMS. No official briefings on what the discussions were about but it was expected to be around the new changing landscape. Muqrin who was the Intelligence chief before him visited India in Jan 2009 in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks. 2010 ofcourse had the state visit to Saudi Arabia.

    I think we need to understand that the Arab world is in a transformation and at present, we need to understand that the Israel/Palestine issue although still quite important has taken a backstage. All attention is focused on Syria at present and the GCC/Israel rivalry with Iran. And it is in this context that India needs to makes its policy decisions.

    This time, India can't afford to be just a spectator like in Gulf war 1 or 2 where the US came in and created problems for India-freindly regimes and energy security. We will have to take a proactive stand and involve ourselves with the US/Israel/GCC alignment on one side and the Iran/Russia/China alignment on the other to make sure we have strategic space for our interests.

    Syria has been a close ally like other secular left leaning and arab nationalist republics in the ME, but after the end of Saddam Hussein and overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, they are a dying breed. I think we should prefer to have the regime in power if not Assad because the Syrian regime has been supportive of us. But if Bandar - who is a known hawk - is going to be ramping up the war in Syria, will out aims align with the Saudis? Should we send a signal that we can't support another Afghanistan like situation in Syria which can end up in blowback in the region?

    The recent UNSC resolution on Syria which was vetoed by Russia and China was supported by India. Even though Brazil, SAfrica and -------- abstained. I think its time to think twice if we should go along with the US/GCC consensus on Syria with this intelligence chief change in Saudi ARabia.
     
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  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    i thought bandars are given importance in India only..:taunt::taunt::taunt:
     
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  8. Nagraj

    Nagraj Regular Member

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    Bandar bin sultan:rofl::rofl:
     
  9. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    these Arabis are real Bander, i wonder what will they do when their oil finished.. back to circus. bandar on camel
     
  10. Nagraj

    Nagraj Regular Member

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    they are squandering a real opportunity. oil gave them the rare window of half century to surpass every one . but guess what they choose to go further back.
     
  11. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Here Bandar does not mean a Monkey....It means a Coast / Shore! :)
     
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  12. ani82v

    ani82v Senior Member Senior Member

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    Saudi silence on intelligence chief Bandar’s fate denotes panic

    Washington, Jerusalem and a row of Middle East capitals is gaining ground the longer the Saudi government stays silent on the reports of the assassination of the newly-appointed Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, purportedly in a revenge operation by a Syrian intelligence death squad. If true, it would shoot a devastating tentacle out from the Syrian conflict to the broader region.

    It is widely feared that Saudi rulers are too traumatized to respond by the fear of Iranian penetration of the highest and most closely guarded circles of Saudi government, possibly climaxing in Bandar’s assassination.
    The unconfirmed reports of his death attribute its motive to revenge by Iran and Syria for the bomb explosion five days earlier in Damascus which killed four of Bashar Assad’s top managers of his war on the uprising against his regime.
    The prince, son of the late crown prince Sultan, has not been seen in public since Saudi General Intelligence headquarters in Riyadh was hit by a bomb blast Monday, July 23 killing his deputy, Mashaal al-Qarni.

    DEBKA-Net-Weekly 550 of Friday, July 26, was the first world publication to report this attack, in the face of a massive official blackout, from its exclusive intelligence sources.
    Now as then, debkafile’s sources have obtained no confirmation that Prince Bandar was injured or killed in that attack. King Abdullah made him Director of Saudi Intelligence on July 19, just a day after the Damascus bombing. But our sources doubt whether a Syrian intelligence squad would be capable of reaching deep inside Riyadh. They therefore postulate that the deed was committed or orchestrated by a clandestine Iranian agency.
    It wouldn’t be the first time.

    In 2003 and 2004, Iran initiated a wave of bombing attacks inside the Saudi kingdom carried out by Al Qaeda, supplying its terror squads with intelligence, explosives and money. Al Qaeda experts ran those operations. One of them, Saif al-Adal, was later freed by Iran and is now based in Pakistan.
    Iran’s terror masters may have gone back to their tested stratagem of hiring Al Qaeda terrorists for an insider job against the Saudi regime.
    For Tehran, all means are justified for the preservation of their foremost Arab ally, Syrian ruler Bashar Assad, in power. Furthermore, Iran’s ability to strike deep into the heart of the Saudi capital is meant to serve as a timely object lesson for their Middle East enemies that Iran’s arm is long enough to reach inside any of their capitals.
    The attack on Riyadh therefore throws a new perspective on the military calculations actuating the “Arab Spring” and governing US and Israel plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program in the very near future. In the same way, the Damascus bombing of July 18 dragged the Syrian civil war outside its borders to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran.
    The unconfirmed report claiming Prince Bandar was critically injured and his doctors had lost the fight to save him, spilling out since Sunday July 29, has gained wide resonance – not because it was verified but because of its momentous strategic significance. Corroboration is still lacking. debkafile reports that Washington too is groping the dark and has turned to its many Middle East intelligence contacts for a glimmer of light on what has happened to the key Saudi figure – so far without success.
    It looks as though the enigma will be solved one way or another only after an authoritative account or an official statement is forthcoming from the Saudi government or if the missing prince appears in public. The absence of any word from the Saudi government increases the trepidation in Washington and among concerned parties in the Middle East.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Perhaps port, and perhaps he has port related or mercantile heritage?
     
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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Notice in the picture, how the Bandar sits.

    Has the Bandar really been killed in retaliation to his killing Assad's kin?

    Maybe something happened like what happened here;

    Drug dart ends langur's week-long terror run
    Drug dart ends langur's week-long terror run - The Times of India
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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  15. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Has S.A said he is died or not ?
     
  16. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Saudi silence on intelligence chief Bandar’s fate denotes panic
    Saudi silence on intelligence chief Bandar’s fate denotes panic
     
  17. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    "Port" is exactly what a Bandar-gah means! He could be from the family of sheiks who control or used to control / own ports.
     
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  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    That reminds me of the cognate 'Saud,' from the house of Al-Sauds. 'Saud,' 'sauda,' 'sauda-garh,' all relate to one thing - trade.
     

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