Part of British bribes from the biggest arms deal in history ended up into the accounts of two 9/11 hijackers
Andrew Feinstein, anti arms trade campaigner and author of the book "Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade" which has also been turned into a full-length film, spoke to The Real News about the issue. He revealed that some of the money from Al-Yamamah deal, the biggest arms deal in history, ended up into the accounts of two of the 9/11 hijackers.
He also spoke about DSEI, one of the world's largest arms fairs, and the fact that more and more protesters stand against it.
Some key points:
The biggest arms deal in history was something called Al-Yamamah deal, a deal between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. It was a deal worth about 43 billion pounds in which over 6 billion pounds of bribes were paid, primarily to members of the Saudi royal family. This was the most corrupt commercial transaction in commercial history of all time. It was sanctioned by Margaret Thatcher, whose son Mark Thatcher was paid 12 million pounds as a bribe on the deal.
The greatest irony of all though is that the son of the Saudi defence minister, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States at the time was paid over a billion pounds into his accounts which were held in Riggs bank opposite the White House in Washington, D.C. Some of that money found its way into his wife's account, and inadvertently he claims, into the accounts of two of the 9/11 hijackers.
It was only at that point that American authorities became at all interested in the deal. Other than that, they were quite happy with the bribes, as were the British.
And it should also be borne in mine that, in addition to the over 1 billion pounds, Prince Bandar was also gifted by BAE an airbus for his private and personal use painted in the colours of his favourite American football team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Until at least the end of 2007, the British taxpayer was paying for the running and maintenance of that birthday gift. This transaction became the subject of a massive investigation by the serious fraud office, at the point in which they were ready to charge senior executives of BAE and the company itself with corruption. Tony Blair's government stepped in and closed down the investigation. That deal, more than any other, reflects the true nature of the British arms export industry.
DSEI is one of the world's largest arms fairs. Most of the world's arms companies will exhibit at DSEI. Most of the world's governments, from democratic through autocratic to despotic, will be at DSEI concluding orders for weaponry. Weaponry that might be used against their own people, weaponry that might be used against innocent civilians in other part of the world, weaponry that might wind up being used against British citizens.
DSEI reflects the true, corrupt and uncaring reality of the global arms trade brought together in a corner of London. It is a stain, as our Mayor has said, on London itself and on the United Kingdom. Every year as DSEI gets bigger, so too have the protests.
There is absolutely no doubt that these protests have not only raised awareness about what DSEI is, about the nature of the arms trade in which the United Kingdom plays such a large part, but that it has also created a greater awareness about issues of British foreign policy and how they might not be in Britain's best interests.
Watch Feinstein's interview on RT's Watching the Hawks, about the documentary version of “Shadow World”: