He was last spotted following a meeting with King Abdullah in Jeddah on December 10, 2008.
The prince was appointed secretary general of the National Security Council by Saudi Arabia’s sixth monarch King Abdullah in October 2005.
In September 2009, he was reappointed to the post, but he failed to arrive for the official pledge of allegiance to the king. Surprisingly Prince Bandar’s absence did not garner much media attention.
Known as “Bandar Bush” because of his close relations with former US president George W. Bush, the 61-year-old was born in the western city of Ta’if, in Mecca Province.
He is the son of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.
Dr. Sabri Anousheh, an expert on Middle East and Saudi affairs, links the disappearance of Prince Bandar with Saudi arms deals.
The prince’s father played a crucial role in Saudi arms acquisition and was previously in charge of overseeing the country’s military expenditure and arms deals, Anousheh notes.
He was elected as the Saudi ambassador to Washington in 1983, and held the position for over two decades. Prince Bandar became so intimated with US government officials that he was deemed an insider.
Bob Woodward, the renowned US journalist who played a key role in revealing the Watergate scandal, demonstrates Bandar’s influence in his book Plan of Attack.
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Woodward says Bush informed his Secretary of State Colin Powell of his plans for launching the 2003 invasion of Iraq only after discussing the scenario with Prince Bandar.
Iraq’s Buratha News Agency has recently said it has evidence proving that that the Saudi national security chief was responsible for arming terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
The agency claims Prince Bandar has assumed leadership of al-Qaeda in Iraq, financing and equipping the terrorist group.
In August 2009, Saad al-Faqih, the head of the opposition group Islamic Reform Movement, told Arab-language Al-Alam channel that Prince Bandar was placed under house arrest after his plot to stage a coup against King Abdullah was discovered and foiled.
In September 2009, British daily the Independent reported that the prince, who was staying in Britain at the time, had not appeared in public for several weeks.
The report triggered rumors that Prince Bandar is seeking to ascend to the Saudi throne.
Semi-official reports say the prince is running secret underground operations in France, while other repots say he has been spotted several times across the European country.
Speculation about his whereabouts may differ, but all analysts agree that regardless of his current location, Prince Bandar is enjoying the US government’s full support and is running, equipping and financing terror organizations in Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan. –pressTV