Hot and Cold Running Bandar

Yesterday, just weeks after the time Al Arabiya announced Prince Bandar bin Sultan would resume his duties as head of Saudi intelligence (and therefore the mastermind of the Saudi-backed effort to oust Bashar al-Assad), Bandar was replaced by a little-known deputy.

He had resumed his position in March, just two days before the President visited the Kingdom.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan is on his way back to Riyadh where he will resume his tasks as head of Saudi Intelligence,reported news portal NOW Lebanon.

An informed Saudi source confirmed the report to Al Arabiya News.

“This is without doubt bad news for Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah, particularly that anti-Saudi media has been propagating false information for the past two months that Prince Bandar’s absence has been due to his dismissal and due to a Saudi decision to back away from its policies regarding the regional conflict,” said the source in Riyadh.

The source confirms that Prince Bandar has actually been away due to medical reasons, however, he has resumed his activities this week from the Moroccan city of Marrakesh; where he has been recovering and where he has met with former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed.

But today he’s out.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been relieved of his post at his request, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday.

The royal decree announcing that Prince Bandar was stepping down as president of General Intelligence gave no reasons for the move. He has been replaced by General Yousef Al Idrissi, the decree said.

I’m not sure anyone knows what these tea leaves mean. It may be that the “shoulder” injury Bandar had been treated for remains a serious health issue. It may be that — as one piece suggested — he retains some power here and has not ceded it back to Mohammed bin Nayef, who had taken over before Bandar’s return in March. It may be that this and King Abdullah’s designation of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as second in succession were done to time with Obama’s visit, to signal that America’s more favored successor, Mohammed bin Nayef, was not going to take over any time soon.

But it also comes among two other developments that may be related. First, since about the beginning of the year and increasingly in recent weeks, the Saudis are actually cracking down on terrorism, both real — including those who went to fight in Syria — and imagined. Perhaps the former, too, was a show for the US. But it did seem to reflect some concerns that Saudi efforts in Syria were increasing security concerns for the Kingdom (as well as other countries in the region and not).

Perhaps most interesting, however, is that the same day that Bandar got “sacked” videos started showing opposition figures in Syria with US made anti-tank missiles, which is the kind of thing Bandar has decades of experience arranging. We’ll see whether those disappear like Bandar or represent a new escalation of efforts to oust Assad.

Tweet about this on Twitter4Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook6Google+1Email to someone

11 Responses to Hot and Cold Running Bandar

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @dbaich @azcentral So, they planned a two hour long death process? Uh huh, sure. Charles Ryan just comes off as sick saying that.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @HaroldItz: I love the idea of calling a 12 hour ceasefire a "humanitarian pause." After 12 hours they resume being inhuman. #Gaza #Isra
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @GregoryMcNeal @WSJ Neat story, but pretty stiff ticket for the watch
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @boubou_le_hibou @5150committee Yeah, well, uh.....what can I say?!?!
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @barrettmarson Funny, I almost pinged you to go have afternoon beer. Guess you were not here! @tomcollinsaz @goodyk
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Well, @dougducey commercial cravenly and dishonestly playing on the Brian Terry killing is simply disgusting+embarrassing to AZ.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz CIA Torture Freaks Concerned Nation May Treat Them Like The Torture Freaks They Are http://t.co/xs8rZcGK31
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @ZekeJohnsonAi: Ex @CIA head Tenet cooking up a strategy to discredit Senate report on torture. He should be doing it from jail. http://…
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @barrettmarson @goodyk Wait, who is that?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @howappealing: "Pa. home sellers don't have to disclose murders, satanic rituals": http://t.co/ciDiTM4kyk has a report that... http://t.…
4hreplyretweetfavorite
April 2014
S M T W T F S
« Mar   May »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930