Fresh from his Oscar ceremony tirade against a 'fictitious President' fighting a 'fictitious war', documentary-maker Michael Moore has said he is setting his sights on the alleged links between former President George Bush senior and the Saudi family of Osama bin Laden.
Moore, whose exploration of US gun violence, Bowling for Columbine, is one of the most commercially successful documentaries ever, said his new film, tentatively titled Fahrenheit 911, will examine what has happened to the US since 11 September.
The film will look at the alleged 'murky relationship' between Bush senior, controversial defense investment firm the Carlyle Group, and the bin Laden family. According to Moore, the former President had a business relationship with bin Laden's father, Mohammed, who left $300 million to his son.
Although the bin Laden family has severed its ties with Osama, 'the senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family up until two months after 11 September,' Moore claimed.
Moore, who has carved himself a role as critic-in-chief of the US administration, said he has no regrets about turning his Oscar acceptance speech into an evisceration of Bush junior.
'If I had won the Oscar for a movie about birds or insects, I'd say something about them,' he said. 'But I made a movie about violence - and global violence - so I felt I had to say something about that. I just hope I generated a discussion about Bush and the war.'
The choice of Moore's new subject - the relationship between the arms industry, the Bush administration and the war on terrorism - could hardly be better timed.
Last week administration adviser Richard Perle resigned from the influential Defense Policy Review Board amid allegations of a conflict of interest between his roles as an influential hawk and as a paid adviser to defense and communications firms.
Yesterday it was revealed that, in addition to acting as an adviser to communications company Global Crossing as it sought to overcome Defense Department opposition to its sale, Perle advised a major US satellite maker, Loral Space and Communications, as it faced government accusations that it improperly transferred rocket technology to China.
Two weeks ago the New Yorker detailed a lunch that Perle had taken with Saudi arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi, at which he allegedly implied he would temper his criticism of the House of Saud in exchange for investment in a new security and defense investment firm with which he is involved. Perle denies the accusation.
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003