Fars News — Dec 8, 2013
Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has had several secret meetings with Israeli officials in Geneva, Switzerland, during the last month a whistleblower disclosed on Sunday.
Mujtahid, a whistleblower who is well connected with the inner circles of the Saudi secret service, revealed through his twitter account that Prince Bandar has met his Israeli counterpart and several other high-ranking Israeli officials in Geneva on November 27.
He said that Prince Bandar and Israeli officials have agreed on a number of crucial issues, including “containing Iran by any possible means, exercising stronger control over Syria’s Jihadist forces, sidelining Muslim Brotherhood and stopping the waves of the Arab spring”.
Different sources had told FNA in September that Prince Bandar’s envoy had been in Geneva to explore ways of enticing the world powers into war on Syria in a series of meeting with the executive director of a very influential Zionist lobby.
“The latest meeting between Riyadh al-Tamimi and Jeremy Ben-Ami, the executive of J Street lobby, was held in Geneva on August 20, during which the two sides discussed the latest developments in Syria, ways to strengthen militants fighting against President Bashar al-Assad and proper methods of persuading the US officials to wage a war against Syria,” an informed Saudi source present in most of the meetings told FNA in September.
J Street, a US Jewish lobby is widely thought to be American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s rival. J Street Director Jeremy Ben-Ami has announced that as a pro-Israel lobby the group works for Israel’s benefit and has underlined its commitment to Israel.
The source, who asked to remain unnamed due to the sensitivity of his information, also said that like the Saudi officials, specially Prince Bandar, J Street has made use of all its possibilities and potentials in recent months to coax the US political and military officials into limited military operations against Syria’s sensitive and vital regions.
Earlier reports had already disclosed that the Saudi spy chief, a former Ambassador to Washington, was trying hard to push US officials to Syria war.
The Saudis are “indispensable partners on Syria” and have considerable influence on American thinking, a senior US official told The Wall Street Journal late August.
Prince Bandar has been gone from the US capital for eight years, but as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington wielded influence over no fewer than five different US presidents, has re-emerged as a pivotal figure in the struggle by America and its allies to tilt the battlefield balance against Syria.
Appointed by the Saudi King, his uncle, last year as the head of the Saudi General Intelligence Agency, Prince Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for militants in Syria in pursuit of the eventual toppling of the Syrian government.
It is a long-term Saudi goal that in the past several days has been subsumed by the more immediate crisis over the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus, which, according to Riyadh, must be met by a stern response. That message is being delivered to President Barack Obama by the current Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, who is a Bandar protégé.
It was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first alerted western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian government in February, while later reports proved that rebels had used the gas.
While a trip in August to the Kremlin to try to cajole President Vladimir Putin into withdrawing his support for President Bashar al-Assad reportedly failed, Prince Bandar automatically has greater leverage in western capitals, not least because of friendships forged during his time in Washington. His most recent travels, rarely advertised, have taken him to both London and Paris for discussions with senior officials.
As ambassador, Prince Bandar left an imprint that still has not quite faded. His voice was one of the loudest urging the United States to invade Iraq in 2003.
Months of applying pressure on the White House and Congress over Syria have slowly born fruit. The CIA is believed to have been working with Prince Bandar directly since last year in training militants at base in Jordan close to the Syrian border.