King Abdullah appoints Bandar bin Sultan instead of Muqrin as the head of the intelligence service, clearly a decision by the U.S.
Story Code : 183662
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz issued a decision to appoint Prince Bandar bin Sultan (former ambassador to the United States and the Secretary-General of the Saudi National Security Council) to the position of Chief of General Intelligence, after the exemption of Muqrin bin Abdulaziz who has been in charge since 2005.
According to the official news agency in Saudi Arabia, the decision came as follows: "We, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia... order the following: First, His Royal Highness Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, is relieved from his position as Chief of General Intelligence and is appointed as an advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the rank of minister.”
"Second, His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz is appointed as President of the General Intelligence, in addition to his position as Secretary-General of the Council of National Security in the rank of minister."
Sources confirmed: "Appointing Prince Bandar bin Sultan as head of Saudi intelligence was an American decision, and was imposed on the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, especially as Prince Bandar’s influence diminished in recent years. Bandar was one of the most important figures of the Saud Family associated closely with the American CIA, but he was exempted from the post of ambassador in Washington in 2005 after 22 years from holding that position (since 1987), and was appointed to the post of Secretary-General of the National Security Council in October 2005, which was a new post created to make Bandar pleased.
The sources said: "King Abdullah had opposed appointing Prince Bandar in the position of head of intelligence, especially as the Prince Muqrin wasn’t willing to abandon the position, but the Americans forced the king to agree to the new assignment.” "During the visit of U.S. intelligence chief Petraeus to Riyadh, he informed the king of the U.S’s and CIA’s desire to appoint Prince Bandar as the Chief of Saudi Intelligence, and the King agreed to the request after Petraeus explaining the difficult stages and challenges that will be facing the region and Saudi Arabia after the fall of ally regimes which requires more coordination between the American and Saudi Intelligence.” The meeting also included, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz (Assistant Interior Minister for Security Affairs), Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (Deputy Foreign Minister), Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir (Saudi ambassador to the U.S), and Thomas William. "
Specialist observers expect that this step increases the influence of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, especially since he had a major role in engineering the foreign and security policies in Saudi Arabia and thus has long years in experience and relations with the CIA. Even the Saudi opposition considered him as "an agent of the U.S. intelligence”.
In this regard, his name has been associated years ago with investigations regarding billions of dollars in kickbacks related to the famous arms deal known as the "dove" with Britain. He is also accused of being involved in U.S.’s project to change the regime in Syria and supporting the armed Wahhabi groups in Lebanon and Syria.