Bandar bin Sultan fired (again)

Rumors are emerging that Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been fired. But as I got excited about the wise move by the new King, Marcy Wheeler asked how long it will last this time.

 

Now I am seeing more people weighing in as well

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla describes himself as a professor of political science in the UAE.  

Here was the first tweet that I saw.

Middle East Monitor reports on a possible reason why Bandar was removed now by King Salman

Going through a recently leaked series of reports and video clips shed light on these issues. It is now evident that Al-Tuwaijri had been waging a campaign against Salman when he was crown prince. He secretly propagated the idea that it was necessary to have Salman step down. This was part of a well-studied plot hatched in the aftermath of the creation of the post of deputy crown prince.

The leaks appear to show that Al-Tuwaijri and Prince Mutaib Bin Abdullah worked with the assistance and support of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to promote the exclusion of Salman so Miqrin becomes crown prince and Mutaib his deputy.

Middle East Eye agrees with less explicit language

The move was a significant break with the past that saw several key players stripped of their seats, and various Salman loyalists promoted up the ranks.

The move was a significant break with the past that saw several key players stripped of their seats, and various Salman loyalists promoted up the ranks. – See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-saudi-king-orders-cabinet-reshuffle-280880866#sthash.48S7ueOE.dpuf
The move was a significant break with the past that saw several key players stripped of their seats, and various Salman loyalists promoted up the ranks. – See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-saudi-king-orders-cabinet-reshuffle-280880866#sthash.48S7ueOE.dpuf
The move was a significant break with the past that saw several key players stripped of their seats, and various Salman loyalists promoted up the ranks. – See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-saudi-king-orders-cabinet-reshuffle-280880866#sthash.48S7ueOE.dpuf
The move was a significant break with the past that saw several key players stripped of their seats, and various Salman loyalists promoted up the ranks. – See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-saudi-king-orders-cabinet-reshuffle-280880866#sthash.48S7ueOE.dpuf

But as recently as the 23rd the New York Times reported that Bandar would keep his post

Longtime officials kept their posts, including Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who remains the national security council adviser.

As I looked around, I remembered that Bandar had been removed from overseeing Syrian activities as head of Saudi intelligence in February. In April the Chicago Tribune carried a Reuters report that said

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the architect of Riyadh’s attempts to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been removed from his post, state media reported on Tuesday.

His departure, months after he was quoted warning of a “major shift” from the United States over its Middle East policy, may help to smooth relations with Washington as Riyadh pushes for more U.S. support for Syrian rebels.

Prince Bandar, who has recently spent time in the United States and Morocco for medical treatment, was replaced on an interim basis by a deputy.

“Prince Bandar was relieved of his post at his own request and General Youssef al-Idrissi was asked to carry out the duties of the head of general intelligence,” state news agency SPA said, citing a royal decree.

The decree did not say if Prince Bandar would continue in his other position as head of the National Security Council.

A former ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar was appointed intelligence chief in July 2012, in charge of helping Syrian rebels bring down Assad, an ally of Riyadh’s biggest regional rival Iran.

He was also closely involved in Saudi support for Egypt’s military rulers after they ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year, diplomatic sources in the Gulf have said.

Daily Beast profile of “Bandar Bush”

The new Saudi monarch, King Salman, and the people he has brought to top positions around him have wasted no time shaking up some of the most critical positions in their government, especially where United States security concerns come into the picture.

The change with the most international resonance is without question the removal of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, known as “Bandar Bush” when he was ambassador to Washington, from his position as head of the Saudi National Security Council. Bandar had given up his position as intelligence chief last year, and his successor in that position also was changed January 29, 2015.

We will see how long Bandar has lost his job this time.

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