FBI releases declassified 9/11 documents showing Saudi embassy official was ‘facilitator’ for Al-Qaeda hijackers
A NEWLY declassified FBI doc has revealed how a Saudi embassy official was a “facilitator” for the al-Qaeda hijackers within the 9/11 assaults.
The memo was printed late on Saturday night – per week after President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the FBI to make the top secret files on the terror attacks available to the general public for the primary time.
The declassified document from April 4, 2016 particulars a 2015 interview with an official who labored on the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.
He was discovered to be an al-Qaeda “facilitator” by the FBI after admitting he allowed two of the hijackers to make use of his condominium and assist them journey round LA.
Investigators consider the Saudi official offered “significant logistic support” to Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Midhar, who took half within the plot to hijack and crash four planes in New York and Washington.
The two males had been on board American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
The doc additionally revealed hyperlinks between Omar Bayoumi, a scholar suspected to have been a Saudi intelligence operative, and Hazmi and Midhar.
Based on interviews in 2009 and 2015 with a supply whose identification is classed, the FBI file particulars conferences between Bayoumi and the hijackers after the pair arrived in Southern California in 2000 forward of the assaults.
The closely redacted 16-page file additionally strengthens already-reported hyperlinks between the 2 males and Fahad al Thumairy – a conservative imam on the King Faad mosque in Los Angeles and an official on the Saudi consulate.
The supply instructed the FBI that Bayoumi, past his official identification as a scholar, had “very high status” within the Saudi consulate, in accordance with the doc.
“Bayoumi’s assistance to Hamzi and Midha included translation, travel, lodging and financing,” the memo mentioned.
The memo additionally mentioned the FBI supply’s spouse instructed them Bayoumi usually talked about “jihad”.
And the doc additionally connects Bayoumi and Thumairy with Anwar al Alaki, the US-born cleric who turned an essential al-Qaeda determine earlier than he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers had been from Saudi Arabia.
Now the Saudis’ secrets and techniques are uncovered and it’s properly previous time for the Kingdom to come clean with its officers’ roles in murdering 1000’s on American soil.
The newly-released memo was nonetheless considerably redacted and didn’t provide a transparent direct hyperlink between the Saudi authorities and the hijackers.
Saudi Arabia has lengthy mentioned it had no function within the assaults.
Saturday’s FBI doc was launched after Biden was pressured by 1000’s of members of the family of these killed on 9/11 who’ve sued Saudi Arabia for complicity.
Three US administrations have refused to declassify and launch documents associated to the case – apparently as a result of they do not need to injury the US-Saudi relationship.
An announcement from 9/11 Families United mentioned the doc launched by the FBI “put to bed any doubts about Saudi complicity in the attacks”.
The group mentioned the memo impliciated “numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar”.
Terry Strada, whose husband Tom was killed on September 11, mentioned: “Now the Saudis’ secrets are exposed and it is well past time for the Kingdom to own up to its officials’ roles in murdering thousands on American soil.”
With this primary launch of documents, 20 years of Saudi Arabia relying on the US authorities to cowl up its function in 9/11 involves an finish.
Jim Kreindler, one of many leaders of the Saudi lawsuit, mentioned the doc validates the lawsuit’s key rivalry that the Saudi authorities helped the hijackers.
“With this first release of documents, 20 years of Saudi Arabia counting on the US government to cover up its role in 9/11 comes to an end,” Kreindler mentioned in a press release.
But the households are nonetheless hoping for stronger proof when extra labeled materials is launched inside the following six months, based mostly on a Biden order.
In a press release final week, the Saudi embassy in Washington mentioned Saudi Arabia has at all times referred to as for transparency across the occasions of 9/11, and welcomes the discharge of labeled documents regarding the assaults.
“As past investigations have revealed, including the 9/11 Commission and the release of the so-called ’28 Pages,’ no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved,” the embassy’s assertion mentioned.