The FBI has declassified a long-sought memo detailing its investigation into the assist the 9/11 hijackers acquired. Households of the victims of the assaults imagine it’s sufficient to attract conclusions about Saudi involvement.
The doc launched on Saturday is from 2016, when the now-closed FBI investigation into Saudi hyperlinks to the phobia assaults was nonetheless energetic. Households of 9/11 victims have requested a number of administrations for its launch, anticipating it to offer proof implicating the Saudi authorities or Saudi officers. Riyadh denied any connection to the plot.
the FBI has launched the primary of the 9/11 paperwork declassified pursuant to President Biden’s Sep 3, 2021 govt order:https://t.co/vuCGKsNihT
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) September 12, 2021
The closely redacted 16-page doc outlines ties between Saudi associates, a number of the 9/11 hijackers and numerous folks sympathetic to the Al-Qaeda trigger. It didn’t present the smoking gun that some critics of the Saudi authorities hoped for, however supplied extra particulars in regards to the connections.
One of many individuals of curiosity within the investigation was Omar al-Bayoumi, whom the FBI lengthy suspected to be a Saudi intelligence operative. Bayoumi supplied assist to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two of the hijackers, after they arrived within the US in January 2000.
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In accordance with the memo, a supply informed the FBI that Bayoumi held a “very excessive standing” within the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. He was regarded “larger than most of the Saudi individuals in cost” of the diplomatic mission, the memo mentioned, which was unusual contemplating his overt place as a mere scholar.
One of many folks he was in “nearly every day contact” with throughout the hijackers’ keep in Los Angeles and San Diego was Osama Bassnan, a Saudi nationwide and a suspected agent.
In accordance with the memo, Bassnan expressed open assist for terrorism. In 1992, he hosted a celebration at his house in Washington for the mastermind of the 1993 World Commerce Heart bombing, ‘Blind Sheik’ Omar Abdel-Rahman. He additionally “expressed enthusiastic assist” for Osama bin Laden and accredited of suicide bombings within the identify of Islam.
In April 2001, the wives of Bassnan and Bayoumi had been arrested collectively in San Diego for shoplifting from a jewellery retailer.
One other Saudi nationwide talked about within the memo on a number of events is Fahad al-Thumairy, an official on the consulate, who too supplied logistical help to the 2 hijackers. Sources informed the FBI that the Saudi officers held “extremist beliefs.”
Thumairy was linked via communications to numerous folks with Al-Qaeda sympathies. One such hyperlink, which the memo described as “regarding,” led FBI investigators to Ahmed Ressam, who was convicted for the 2000 Al-Qaeda plot to bomb the Los Angeles Worldwide Airport.
The group 9/11 Households United, which seeks to carry Saudi Arabia accountable for its alleged position within the terrorist plot, welcomed the declassification of the memo, saying it “places to mattress any doubts about Saudi complicity within the assaults.”
It added that the discharge was “step one by the Biden Administration, within the wake of the President’s current Govt Order, in the direction of declassifying and releasing authorities paperwork” associated to the assaults.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden ordered the Justice Division to overview and probably launch the paperwork by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 assaults. A wider effort to declassify comparable papers is underway. Earlier administrations declined calls to publish such supplies, citing nationwide safety.
The 2001 assaults killed over 3,000 folks, turning into the deadliest terrorist plot within the nation’s historical past and triggering a world-altering change in US international coverage, ensuing within the so-called World Battle on Terror. Many of the 19 hijackers had been Saudi nationals.
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