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Irving backer's half-brother becomes Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

– begins purge of princes and billionaires

Prince Fahd with the Queen at the 1995 Derby
(above and below) Prince Fahd bin Salman, supporter of David Irving's campaign for real history,
with Queen Elizabeth II at the 1995 Epsom Derby

Prince Fahd with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the 1995 Epsom Derby


This weekend’s sensational purge of princes and billionaires in Saudi Arabia brings back memories of Prince Fahd bin Salman, who before his untimely death in 2001 (aged just 46) had been planning to provide financial assistance for the embattled historian David Irving.

Prince Fahd bin Salman (1955-2001) was the eldest son of the present King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and was best known in Britain as owner of many successful racehorses, including the 1991 Derby winner Generous. As described by Don Guttenplan in his Observer article ‘David Irving’s secret backers’ (3rd March 2002):

Observer article on Irving backers including Lady Renouf and Prince Fahd
click image for full article

"In July [2001], Irving thought he'd finally found his ideal benefactor: Prince Fahd bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. The son of the governor of Riyadh and eldest nephew to King Fahd invited Irving to Harewood, his estate in Surrey. Just a month earlier Fahd had accompanied his father on a trade mission to Britain when he met the Queen and the Prime Minister.

"The meeting with Irving was arranged by Michele Renouf, the mysterious blonde model who had been a constant presence at Irving's side during the trial...

"The prince agreed terms via a telephone call from Riyadh a few days later. Renouf confirmed Irving's account of the negotiations in an email to The Observer: 'Tragically, the following day, the generous and fit prince died suddenly,' she added."

At the time of Prince Fahd’s death in 2001 his father (then Prince Salman) was Governor of Riyadh, a position he held from 1963 to 2011. Prince Salman was promoted in November 2011 to become Minister of Defence and Second Deputy Prime Minister. He was then promoted again in June 2012 to become Crown Prince, following the death of his brother Crown Prince Nayef.

Then in January 2015 he became King at the age of 79, following the death of his 90-year-old half-brother King Abdullah. So in just over three years Prince Salman rose from being Governor of Riyadh (a post he had held for decades) to King of Saudi Arabia.

Crown Princes MBS and MBN
Unhappy families: Prince Muhammad bin Nayef (right) was ousted by his young cousin Prince Mohammad bin Salman (left)
as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in an internal coup at the end of June 2017

When Salman became King, his half-brother Prince Muqrin (the youngest surviving son of Ibn Saud) automatically became Crown Prince, having previously been Deputy Crown Prince. However after just over three months, the new King Salman replaced Muqrin: he installed his nephew Prince Muhammad bin Nayef as the new Crown Prince.

Two years later on 21st June 2017, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef was himself replaced – and this time it seems to have been more like an internal coup, with the ousted Crown Prince being effectively placed under house arrest. There have been suggestions that he had become addicted to painkillers following an earlier assassination attempt.

New Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman
New Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, half-brother of Irving backer Prince Fahd

Whatever the truth, there have been remarkable developments in the four months since the appointment of the new Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman (the successive Crown Princes are sometimes referred to for convenience as MBN and MBS). The new Saudi policy is more militantly hostile to Iran and Qatar, and it seems increasingly likely that the oil kingdom will reach a public or semi-public deal with Israel.

Haaretz this week even suggested that the Saudis might be “pushing Israel into war with Hezbollah and Iran”. Naturally those peace-loving Israelis would never dream of such bellicosity unless pushed by the Saudis…

The Times reported dramatic improvements in Saudi-Israeli relations (including trade talks) in June, just days before it was revealed that MBS had replaced MBN, and there have been numerous indications since then of economic and diplomatic moves in that direction, while the Western-equipped Saudi military has intensified its brutal attacks on dissidents across the Yemen border and in the Shia district of Al-Awamiyah close to the Persian Gulf.

MBS is only 32 years old and is King Salman’s son by his third wife. (The King has had 13 children by his three wives. Prince Fahd’s mother was the first wife, who was also Salman’s cousin: they had six children and she died in 2011. Salman then had one child by his second wife, and another six by his third.)

King Salman with President Trump
King Salman (above right) – father of Irving backer Prince Fahd – greets President Trump

King Salman will be 82 on New Year’s Eve and is understood to have mild Alzheimer’s and to have suffered a stroke from which he is not 100% recovered.

On November 4th there was a series of arrests and sackings – a major purge of the Saudi royal, political and business hierarchy, which seems designed further to entrench the power of the new Crown Prince, who is clearly being lined up to take effective control of the kingdom. Just hours before the purge an important Saudi ally, Saad Hariri resigned as Prime Minister of Lebanon, in a move clearly designed to justify further military actions by the Saudis against Iranian allies such as Hezbollah.

Meanwhile the Saudis' favourite MP, bisexual and righteous gentile Daniel Kawczynski, is facing allegations that he attempted to procure a young female for an older foreign businessman (presumably a Saudi). Soon after returning from Warsaw, where he collected an award for "his great-uncle who sheltered seven Jewish families during the Holocaust before being discovered and killed”, Channel 4 News alleged that Kawczynski was "accused of trying to pressure a young researcher to go on a date with a wealthy friend. It’s understood he admits he did put forward the idea. But denies any suggestion that anything inappropriate took place.”

One thing seems certain: the new Israel-friendly Saudis, even when they can spare time and money from bombing their own civilians, will no longer consider it “appropriate” to assist David Irving’s campaign for real history.


David Irving's website

Observer reports Saudi prince's support for Irving

BBC reports Saudi purge

Trump backs Saudi purge

email the web editor peter@jailingopinions.com