Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with an anonymous member of the Libyan Defense Ministry.

Robles: Hello Sir! How are you?

Source: I’m fine, thank you.

Robles: I’d like to ask you some very serious questions regarding, first, the Saudi involvement in the Middle East, in particular with regard to terrorist organizations and formations. Can you tell me anything that you might know about US and Saudi involvement with terrorist formations in Libya and how they might be operating in Syria?

Source: Well, most of the organizations that have been working here have been; not eradicated, but rather exiled to the eastern part of Libya. That’s where they are most active.

In the western part of the country criminal activity is very low, but in the eastern part – Benghazi, Derna, Tobruk – the criminal activity is quite high and most of these are extremist groups, funded mostly by Qatar, more than by Saudi Arabia.

Robles: I see. Would you say these are US-backed groups?

Source: It is possible that they are backed by the United States because these groups do not operate without their consent. Saudi Arabia does not operate without the consent of the United States, because they consider any move from Middle Eastern countries to be a threat to their national interests. So, they ask first advice and then permission.

Robles: So, all the countries in the Middle East, they ask the United States for permission before they do anything, is that what you say?

Source: Exactly! Especially after the invasion in Iraq most Arab countries have felt they are under threat. In fact I remember in 2004 there was a meeting between Arab countries and we were present there, it was near Tripoli. At that time there was Gaddafi and he received a letter during the meeting and jokingly he said “the fax from America just arrived”. But it was more a confession than a joke, I think.

Robles: Do you know the contents of that fax?

Source: No, we weren’t allowed to see any of those documentations.

Robles: I see. But this happened all the time?

Source: It happened all the time. In fact, most of the meetings were attended even by foreigners, non-Arabs.

Robles: And these were meetings between Libyan defense officials and who else? Who was present?

Source: Libyan defense officials, interior ministries of all Arab countries. In fact, all the Arab countries have a unified protocol in case of protests, in case of “cracks”in their governments. The recent Saudi aid in Bahrain and the recent financial support by Qatar to Kuwait under crisis, this shows that they are unified. And most of the Gulf countries have been pressuring for Hosni Mubarak to be released. And Saudi Arabia gave no support for our liberation from Gaddafi, nor to the Tunisians against Ben Ali.

Robles: Saudi Arabia gave no support.

Source: Absolutely no support and in any case.

Robles: What I’ve heard, I'm very concerned about reports that Saudi Prince Bandar, he threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would release Chechen terrorists at the Sochi Olympics. And during part of the conversation which was released, which I’m sure he thought would be secret, he admitted and he said that they control Chechen terrorists, they control the terrorists in Syria, according to his words. Is that true?

Source: Yes, I believe that is true. Some rumors were spoken here in our Defense Ministry that the nerve gasses, that the chemical weapons used against Syrian civilians were brought by Bandar from Israel and given to the rebels. I don’t believe that Assad used chemical weapons against his own people.

Robles: I don’t think so either. So, the rumors have it there that the chemical weapons that were used in Syria, that actually Bandar was involved in this and they came from Israel, originally?

Source: Yes, those are the rumors. And who benefits from this? Mostly Israel. They are the ones which would want it in fact more than the United States.

Robles: What about Saudi Arabia? What is Saudi Arabia’s role then in the Middle East? What are their goals? Is this religious or is this oil?

Source: It is neither, I think. They just follow the orders. From the oil’s they give only 11 million barrels. They have no natural gas resources. And from the religionthey are mostly conservative closed in their areas.

And as the continuing Shia fight, Syria is now 85% Sunni. So, there is absolutely no role. They just provide what the American and British governments want, that’s all.

Prince Bandar is just under something that’s been in force for many years, I think for all his life. He wants the throne for himself and maybe he thinks that allying with the United States that they might help him to become the king of Saudi Arabia. But it is very difficult because there are about 5,000 princes,and only 40 are eligible and he is out of the race for that part.

Robles: So, Prince Banda, his ambition was to become the king?

Source: Exactly! His father, late father, was the heir to the throne, but he passed away a year ago, Prince Sultan. But because his mother is from a legitimate background, not from a royal background, he is not eligible to take the throne, even if he is the eldest son.

Robles: I see. But he was supposed to be helped by the United States or has that been stopped? Or what is going on?

Source: Exactly! He is trying to buy their graces so they might pressurize the Saudi Government to let him be heir of the throne, something which in the Arab world we know about.

Robles: That’s not something most of the rest “us” know about. So basically, what you are telling, I mean, this is pretty shocking. You are telling me that, basically, every country in the Middle East is following the US’s instructions.

Source: That’s what it is essentially especially in the Gulf countries. Before the revolution maybe Russia had a greater influence over North Africa, France over the Maghreb countries from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and so on. But after the revolution mostly the Americans have gained upper hand from this point of view.

The real battle is between Russia and America. Thetwo superpowers that control most of the region. And the Russian economy has been speeding up in the past 8 years and this is something (for the first time in which) the American administrationhas no say.

Robles: And the US economy has been going down, and it’s in a very dire state right now. Can you tell us a little bit about what you know about the Muslim Brotherhood? What kind of an organization is it?

Source: Looking first at the origin of the Muslim Brotherhood, it was formed in 1940 by the British Government as a form of response to King Farouk who did not like the British occupation of Egypt. They were supported, they were funded, they were trained and they were armed.

President Gamal Abdel Nasser joined them when he was 18 years old, because he was a very strong Muslim conservative and he thought they were nationalists. But after two years he left them, found them very radical and their focus on supporting political candidates. So, nothing related to religion.

They had a strong development under the dictatorship of Gaddafi, Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak. They became a radical armed force. Prior to the revolution they became more popular. In the civil protests they gained the respect of the people as a solution against dictatorship. But after one year people in Egypt and Libya found them more oppressive, than the previous dictators. The recent changes in Egypt show that that armed forces were actually called upon by the people.

Robles: You said the Muslim Brotherhood has no religious agenda.

Source: They have no religious agenda at all, because in Islam something called a political party, political religion is a violation of the Islamic law in principle. It is the way the Hezbollah and all other political factions related to religion – they just want to gain massive support. But in Islam itself religion and politics should not go hand by hand.

Robles: I don’t know if you are aware of these threats by the Saudi prince against Russia. Do the Saudis really control Chechen terrorists, in your opinion?

Source: Yes, even long ago, even the Bosnians. The Bosnian war you know,in the Balkan war, the Bosnian actions were supported and funded by Saudi Arabia, because the opposing side, the Serbianside was supported by Russia. And this is something everyone knows.

It is very difficult toopenly say that - I’m going to support Chechen terrorists against Russia – because that would be a violation of international law. And I don’t believe the Chechens are ready for this, nor they believe in it.

Robles: OK, what do you think about this now, this would technically make Saudi Arabia a sponsor of terrorism?

Source: This is something which everybody knows. I mean,the Bin Laden family they are still operating normally. Osama bin Laden was never questioned in Saudi Arabia and he was never considered a terrorist at all. And most of the money that is going to terrorists held in Iraq are all from Saudi Arabia and all from Qatar.

Robles: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Source: I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tarek Bin Laden about 5 years ago in Dubai.MrTarek Bin Laden, Osama’s brother.He had an office near the palace, and I met him by chance through another Saudi Mr. Mohammed Dohteri, his lawyer. And I saw this man was always going heavily guarded, but like he is distanced from the family. He doesn’t seem like someone who is very religious or something like that, on the contrary. So, I don’t know what kind of family, not a loving family, he’s a member of the family.

Robles: Can you tell us about that meeting? What happened? What can you tell us about Osama bin Laden’s brother?

Source: It was a meeting between the Libyan Ambassador and other ambassadors when they were there at security forum. He shook our hands “with me and one of my colleagues”. He was talking there only English, his Arabic was quite weak. I started talking with him in English, and nothing like like that. He didn’t seem a very calm person. But he was always going heavily guarded, I don’t know why.

Robles: You say his Arabic was bad but his English was better. Was his English British or American?

Source: It was more American.

That was the end on an interview in progress. For the continuation of this interview, please, visit our website at voiceofrussia.com

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