Prince Bandar, head of Saudi Arabia’s national security council, leaving Downing Street last October. Photograph: Martin Argles
Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.
Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced “another 7/7” and the loss of “British lives on British streets” if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.
Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.
The White House line that Iraq’s extremists are all backed by Iran is a myth, writes robert fox
T his weekend, buyers from across the Gulf states and the Middle East will descend on a huge arms fair in Dubai. Sheikhs, emirs, princes and kings will be buying anything from specialised sniper ammunition by the ton, to the highest-tech surveillance gear and even the odd British Aerospace gunboat or Eurofighter.The Arab world will use the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX), to tool up for a coming confrontation with Iran, and to arm Sunni insurgents to fight Iran’s allies in Iraq, the Shia militias.
Even the Bush administration will now admit, under its collective breath of course, that Iraq is in the throes of a full-blown civil war between armed groups of its Sunni and Shia Arab communities, triggered a year ago by the destruction of the al-Laskar mosque in Samara, a revered Shia shrine.
The Vatican said other topics discussed included inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue and “collaboration among Christians, Muslims and Jews for the promotion of peace, justice and spiritual and moral values, especially those which support the family”.
The Pope and the king also discussed the Middle East, particularly the need to find “a just solution to the conflicts that afflict the region, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian (conflict)”.
POPE GETS SWORD
Muslims around the world protested last year after Benedict, speaking at a university in his native Germany, used a quote that associated Islam with violence.
In that speech at a university in Regensburg in his native Germany, Benedict quoted the Byzantine emperor Manuel Paleologus as saying to a Muslim:
“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”