"Among those ousted is his cousin, the head of the national guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was his only serious rival. However, among the names of those detained — some leaked, some confirmed by well-placed sources — are people with no political ambition but with huge fortunes.
The same sources refused to confirm the arrest, claimed by the news site Middle East Eye, of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, an even bigger fish. For years he was Saudi Arabia’s biggest international fixer, as ambassador to Washington.
His father, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, was defence minister for 40 years and a dominant figure in Saudi public life until he died as crown prince in 2011.
Prince Bandar was also named as a recipient of huge BAE Systems “backhanders” in a British investigation later blocked by Tony Blair, the then prime minister. He remains phenomenally wealthy." The Times of London
Bandar was Saudi ambassador in Washington for many years. In the end he was dean of the diplomatic corps. He was American educated and trained by us as an RSAF fighter pilot. He was a major figure around DC for a long time. I visited him often at his embassy office in DC and at his mansion on Chain Bridge Road in Virginia where his ex British SAS guards in black suits treated me with respect. His father was Defense Minister of SA and his mother was an Ethiopian concubine. (jariya habashiya).
He was very good at bullshitting American officials. One of his favorite "victims" in that regard was Admiral Crowe, the chairman of the JCS. Bandar's wide ranging influence in Washington was greatly diminished when an unclassified clear voice telephone conversation between him and his father was intercepted and translated. In this chat they discussed Bandar's successful deception with regard to a shipment of Chinese arms bound for Iraq. These had been unloaded at a Saudi military port on the Red Sea. When confronted with photographs of the ship's progress across the world's oceans from China, he had told Crowe that the cargo was for Saudi use. Crowe had "bought" that. Bandar and his father laughed at Crowe's gullibility. I had previously told Crowe that Bandar was lying to him, so I enjoyed bringing this intercept to Crowe's office. He stared at his desk, handed me back the paper and told me to leave.
Bandar played a central role in orchestrating Gulf support for revolt against the Syrian Government. He was delegated this role by the assemblage of senior princes in his capacity as head of the Saudi intelligence agency.
He is undoubtedly thought a major and dangerous rival by the Salman branch of the royal tribe. pl
BTW – The photo above was widely interpreted in the Arab World as evidence of Bandar's mastery of 43.