The typical, but still shocking career trajectory of one man most people have never heard of, will exemplify British corruption and why Theresa May will not release the suppressed report into Saudi funding of terrorism – Sherard Cowper-Coles. Cowper-Coles was British ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2003-2006. He was in post at the time of the proposed investigation into the massive al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia of which BAE Systems admitted to US authorities “false accounting and making misleading statements in relation to allegations of corruption” 2 and paid a £300m fine. “The SFO’s own extensive inquiry into the al-Yamamah deal was shut down in 2006, following pressure from the firm and from Saudi officials, who reportedly threatened to withdraw co-operation over security matters. The then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, cited national security when he announced the inquiry was being abandoned” 3 Cowper-Coles, as ambassador is widely regarded as being the main influence for shutting down of the investigation “It was there, last year, that Cowper-Coles famously recommended that the Serious Fraud Office end its criminal investigation into alleged bribery by the British arms firm BAE or see grave damage to British interests” 4 – a position he still insists was justified.
In true British style In 2011 Cowper-Coles became BAE Systems’ international business development director, focusing on the Middle East and south-east Asia.He is a committee member of the Saudi-British Society.5 But is gets better. Cowper-Coles is now Group Head of Government Affairs at HSBC Bank and Director of HSBC Bank Egypt 6
So what has all this got to do with Theresa May refusing to release the report. A letter was sent to May by a group of survivors and relatives of the victims of the 9/11 attack stating “The UK now has the unique historic opportunity to stop the killing spree of Wahhabism-inspired terrorists by releasing the UK government’s report on terrorism financing in the UK which, according to media reports, places Saudi Arabia at its centre of culpability” 7 It is generally accepted and reported by the media that the reason that the report is being suppressed is because of British arms sales to Saudi Arabia and that country’s involvement in human rights violations in Yemen, and elsewhere. Yes, Britain is now the world’s second largest arms dealer and two-thirds of those arms go to the Middle East 8. But until April of this year the Vice-Chair of the BBC Trust was Sir Roger Carr 9 Chairman of BAE Systems (with the Chair being HSBC’s Rona Fairhead). So, these matters are not exactly secret.
What is secret, in the sense that it is not being reported in the British media because of the reach of the advertising and political influence is HSBC’s involvement in Saudi Arabia is the sensitive stage of negotiations surrounding a business deal far larger than the al-Yamamah deal – Saudi Aramco. If the report on Saudi Arabia was released it would no doubt throw light on HSBC involvement in terrorist funding (Al Qaeda is a precursor of IS). Even after HSBC knew about the involvement of Al Qaeda in 9/11 and that organisation’s relationship with Al Rajhi Bank, HSBC continued to do business with Al Rajhi 10
It is well know that HSBC paid $1.9bn in the US to avoid prosecution for laundering drug cartel and terrorist money, due to the intervention of George Osborne 11. What is less well know is the other connections HSBC has with the British government. There are Lords Green, Evans and Janvrin. Lord Evans was Director General of MI5, he is also a director of a company that supplies data services to all UK Government departments.12 Lord Janvrin sits of the Lord committee that overseas the work of the UK security services 13. There is the mysterious Michael Ellam from HM Treasury who is now at HSBC to develop its relationship with governments 14 Then there was the unlawful appointment of HSBC director Rona Fairhead to the BBC Trust 15.
Beyond its influence and infiltration of the British government, HSBC has long standing business connections with Saudi Arabia. There is HSBC Saudi Arabia, where Head of Human Resources is Faisal Hussain Al Shamrani, previously of BAE Systems.16
A whole book could be written about HSBC and Saudi Arabia. However, the reason that the terrorist funding report is not being released is because of HSBC and British government involvement in the forthcoming part privatisation of Saudi Aramco, the state owned oil company. The reason the public are not allowed to know the truth about the source of funding of the people who are carrying out atrocities across Europe is because of a business deal involving HSBC as I have written about in this blog:
There is a huge media cover-up taking place in the UK surrounding HSBC and its business dealings with Saudi Arabia. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has caused controversy by refusing to publish a government commissioned report on terrorist funding, and the media reports that the reason for this is that it will implicate Saudi Arabia in funding Wahhabist teachings in mosques in the UK and funding ISIS and Al Qaeda and interfere with the British arms trade.
I do not believe this is the reason the report is being suppressed. It is well know that Saudi Arabia funds and supports terrorist organisations. Amber Rudd has already caused controversy over the same issue when she shut me down at an election hustings when I tried to talk about HSBC business dealings with Saudi Arabia. Note, she begins to move to shut me up at the mention of HSBC, before I even mention Saudi Arabia.
In April Theresa May visited Saudi Arabia, together with the CEO of the London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet
Significantly there is no mention of HSBC in the Guardian article. Following May’s visit it was announced that HSBC had got the job:
But there was still no news about where the IPO would take place. Originally it was thought that it would be Hong Kong and one of the first things that happened after May became Prime Minister is that her husband’s investment company Capital Group entered into a business deal with HSBC in Hong Kong. However, New York is still an option. This week it was announced that the Financial Conduct Authority, already known for easing HSBC corruption, had bent the London Stock Exchange rules to make it easier for Saudi Arabia to hold the IPO in London.
(Financial Times, no mention of HSBC)4
There will be an announcement in the next few weeks, probably, that the Saudi Aramco IPO will be hosted by the London Stock Exchange. In the last few weeks I have seen not one mention of HSBC in all the reporting about the IPO in the British media, especially in connection with the suppressed government report.
The implication of all of this is that the British public cannot know about Saudi Arabia involvement in funding the kind of terrorist atrocities we see in Britain and therefore try to stop it, because the corrupt British establishment do not want to scupper a huge commercial opportunity for HSBC and the London Stock Exchange, and by extension, their own pockets.
10 U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering,Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History