If reports concerning the death of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan are true it could see the conflict in Syria spread beyond its borders and into the wider region. The 63-year-old prince, the son of the late Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, was appointed
to head up Saudi Intelligence nearly two weeks ago. DEBKAfile a Jerusalem based website which covers terrorism and counter-intelligence news first reported the alleged death of Prince Bandar last Friday.
According to the DEBKAfile report
, the Saudi government has declared a black out on the incident. However, the only 'confirmation' of an attack that killed Prince Bandar Bin Sultan was reported by the Tehran Times
which quoted a story from the non-profit Paris based Voltaire Network which cited unofficial sources who stated Monday that Prince Bandar had been killed in retaliation for the Damascus bombing which saw President Assad lose key members of his inner circle.
DEBKAfile went on to speculate that the attack could not have been carried out by Syrian intelligence which according to their analysis lack the ability to carry out an attack on a Saudi royal, however the Israeli website alleged that Iran most likely was the mastermind and perpetrator of the attack, which has not been officially confirmed. The Jerusalem based website also echoed other analysts suspicions that Prince Bandar was promoted due to his involvement in the assassination of Assad's brother-in-law and Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat as well as Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha and two other security officials.
As if the story was not already convoluted the Tehran Times
reported Monday, July 30th that the U.S. Justice Department had reopened an investigation into bribery allegations against the Saudi Prince, the report went on to say that Prince Bandar "has denied the bribery allegations categorically, claiming he acted lawfully at all times." However, Prince Bandar was not directly quoted.