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Where in the World Is Prince Bandar bin Sultan?
Unconfirmed reports have been circulating on the Internet speculating that the former Saudi ambassador was assassinated over the weekend. By Erin Keane Scott
Comments () | Published August 1, 2012
The question many are asking this week: Is Prince Bandar dead?

The answer, as far as our reporting goes, is no. We paused yesterday before posting our story about the sale of the former Saudi ambassador’s Kalorama apartment. The cause of the hesitation was several unconfirmed reports that he was killed over the weekend by a Syrian death squad as payback for “Operation Damascus Volcano”—a mission he may have organized as the new head of Saudi Intelligence.

The Internet was heavy with rumors, but nothing that confirmed his death. We wanted to find out what was being said here in Washington, where he lived since the 1980s, worked closely with the government, and had many friends. We called around, and here’s what we got:

The CIA: “The rumor that came out about this was wrong. We can’t say when he’ll turn up, but the rumors are incorrect.”

The State Department: “Completely bogus.”

The office of former President George W. Bush, with whom Prince Bandar had a close relationship: “This is the first we’ve heard of it.”

Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush: “To the best of our knowledge, there is no truth to this rumor.”

We also reached out to the Saudi Arabian embassy, the FBI, and the Department of Defense but received no word back on Prince Bandar’s status. None of our sources could confirm his whereabouts.


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  • Kiaskfm

    Don't miss the lesson to be learned from the fact the bombing in Syria, where unfriendly foreign journalists are not allowed and the regime is claimed to rule with a tight fist, was immediately announced by the Syrian government, including the death count, while the bombing in Saudi Arabia, close ally of the world's most sanctimonious proponent of a free press, remains a mystery, despite foreign reporters being in the country.

  • Hosius11

    'We can’t say when he’ll turn up' or perhaps where he is or what happened to him? What exactly does the 'I' stand for in CIA?

  • Hosius11

    Why should the Saudis fuel speculation by not scotching these growing rumours immediately?

    He's either dead, very ill or imprisoned. Whichever way the Saudi govt would do well to speak soon, otherwise it looks like it's losing control, as some have suggested.

  • 220VOLTS

    Amazing, isn't it? All of the players who would and should know are all, to the one, playing the plausible deniability game. Masters of the obtuse ... for dunces, that is.

  • Liontata

    is it true that prince bander the illigimate child is dead ??

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