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Princess Diana

LONDON – Gen. Michael Hayden, the new head of the CIA and the former chief of the National Security Agency who is due in London at the end of the month for a meet-and-greet visit with Britain’s intelligence chiefs, will face some tough questions from Lord Stevens, the former head of Scotland Yard.

Known as “The Grand Inquisitor,” Stevens is leading the long-running investigation into the deaths of Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi al-Fayed.

Stevens already has conducted lengthy interviews with Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, head of MI5; Sir John Scarlett, director-general of MI6; and his predecessor, Sir Richard Dearlove. They have all handed over secret files on the deaths.

But intelligence sources in London and Washington have confirmed it is the potentially explosive evidence that NSA holds which could send the Stevens inquiry deep into what one source called “where Royal glitz met the underbelly of intelligence.”

The NSA has admitted it holds 1,050 documents – transcripts of its satellite surveillance on Diana during the last weeks of her life. Until now NSA has insisted it cannot release the transcripts because “they raise issues of national security.”

A year before her death, Diana publicly claimed on BBC television she was “under surveillance by the intelligence world.”

She insisted this was because of her campaign against landmines – which had aroused opposition in Britain and America from armaments manufacturers. All produce large quantities of landmines.

NSA director and America’s most senior intelligence officer, Hayden, had ordered the documents must remain secretly stored in the sprawling Fort George Meade complex outside Washington.

But when he comes to London, Hayden will not have the protection of diplomatic immunity – his job does not carry such protection.

A source close to the Stevens inquiry team said: “He can be questioned like any relevant witness.”

The NSA tapes have been rumoured to finally confirm – or deny – that Diana was pregnant by Dodi al-Fayed when she died.

Ari Ben-Menashe, a former adviser on national security to the Israeli government, has claimed the NSA transcripts “contain answers to show what happened in the days before Diana died. They will confirm what Prince Charles has been told – that he should expect shocking revelations about her death.”

Ben-Menashe also confirmed that Mossad, the intelligence service once “tasked for delicate missions,” has files on Diana and Dodi’s deaths.

Now a political consultant in Montreal, Canada, Ben-Menashe claimed he tried to “broker a deal” with Dodi’s father, Mohammed al-Fayed, the millionaire head of Harrods.

“We couldn’t agree on my fees for investigating what the documents contained,” said Ben-Menashe. His clients have included Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe.

While no formal request to provide its files has been received from the Stevens inquiry, a senior Mossad officer close to its own director, Meir Dagan, said: “Our interest was not in Diana but in Henri Paul. We knew he was already working for French intelligence in his capacity as head of security of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. We knew the hotel, owned by Dodi’s father, was being widely used by arms dealers supplying weapons to attack Israel. We were still trying to persuade Henri Paul to work with us when he died.”

Gordon Thomas is the author of “Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad.” He specializes in international intelligence matters and writes regularly for Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

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