The 32 Most Important Passages From the Un-Redacted "Saudi Portion" of the 9/11 Report

Politics Features
Share Tweet Submit Pin
The 32 Most Important Passages From the Un-Redacted "Saudi Portion" of the 9/11 Report

The highly anticipated “Saudi portion” of the 9/11 report – the missing 28 pages, were released on Friday, as news about the previous night’s attack in Nice still unfolded, serving as a reminder of the sobering consequences of this topic. However, a failed coup in Turkey, another horrific attack on police officers in Louisiana, and of course, Donald Trump buried it in the news cycle by the end of the weekend. 2016 is exhausting, man.

These omitted documents are important for many reasons, no more so than because they raise the question of what Saudi links to 9/11 our government knew of in the years leading up to the most notorious day in modern US history. The economic boom of the ‘90s was fueled by Saudi oil, and we certainly looked the other way on their atrocities at home, but did we look the other way when it came to their potential horrors inside our borders? The report never makes a definitive claim either way, but there are a handful of examples where the FBI obtained information related to both the 9/11 plotters and the Saudi Government, yet the memo was never passed on to the necessary parties. The fact that one of the “stars” of these 28 pages is very close to the Bush family doesn’t help to paint a rosy picture either.

These pages are under a section titled: Part Four – Finding, Discussion, and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters. AKA: “Our second-closest ally in the middle east may have financed and helped plan the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history.”

Here are the 32 headlines, followed by the key passages from the report:

1. The First Sentence of these 28 Pages, Buckle Up

“While in the United States, some of the September 11th hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”

2. “Redacted” (the 2nd One) is a Weird Way to Spell “Saudi Terrorist”

“A representative of the FBI [redacted] testified that prior to September 11, 2001, the FBI received ‘no reporting from any member of the Intelligence Community’ that there was a [redacted] presence in the United States.”

3. To the 1st [Redacted] in #2, I Call BS

“On one occasion prior to September 11, the FBI received information that Omar al-Bayoumi might be a Saudi intelligence officer. Al-Bayoumi was known to have access to large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that he did not appear to hold a job. On occasion prior to September 11, the FBI received information that al-Bayoumi had received $400,000 from Saudi Arabia to help fund a new mosque in San Diego. The FBI conducted a counterterrorism investigation on al-Bayoumi in 1998 and 1999, but closed the investigation at that point.”

4. [Redacted] Probably Should Hire a Good Lawyer

“The FBI has received numerous reports from individuals in the Muslim community, dating back to 1999, alleging that al-Bayoumi may be a Saudi intelligence officer…al-Bayoumi met the hijackers at a public place shortly after his meeting with an individual at the Saudi consulate and there are indications in his files that his encounter with the hijackers may not have been accidental. During this same timeframe, al-Bayoumi had extensive contact with Saudi Government establishments in the United States and received financial support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense…That company reportedly has ties to Usama Bin Ladin and al-Qaeda.”

5. Al-Bayoumi has a Lifetime of Links to the Saudi Government

“Al-Bayoumi had been an accountant at the Saudi Civil Aviation Administration from 1976 to 1993, when he relocated to the United States…According to the FBI, al-Bayoumi was in frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control…The FBI has also located records, indicating that al-Bayoumi received $20,000 from the Saudi Ministry of Finance at one point…When al-Bayoumi applied to schools in the United States in 1998, he had a letter from the Saudi Embassy, which stated that he was getting a full scholarship from the Government of Saudi Arabia.”

6. Al-Bayoumi was Paid by a Saudi Company He Didn’t Work For

“While in San Diego, al-Bayoumi was receiving money from the Saudi Ministry of Defense through a Saudi company called ‘Ercan.’ [Redacted] of that company informed the FBI after September 11, 2001 that, although al-Bayoumi only showed up at the company on one occasion, he received a monthly salary and allowances. [Redacted] stated that, at first, he attempted to refuse to pay al-Bayoumi a monthly salary, but he was told that his company would lose their contract if he did not pay him. [Redacted] informed the FBI at the time, he attributed this to Saudi Corruption.”

7. Nothing to See Here, Just Saudi Ministry of Defense Money Going to bin-Laden

“al-Bayoumi also noted on one of his school applications that he worked for a company called Dallah/Avco. Ercan is a San Diego subcontractor of of Dallah/Avco…Avco Dallah reportedly holds the contracts for cleaning and maintenance at the three major airports in Saudi Arabia. The [redacted] document states that [redacted] the company has links to Usama Bin Laden. FBI Headquarters was informed of the affiliation between Dallah/Avco and Al Bakarat (an Investment and Development Company) in February 2001, but the San Diego Field Office apparently never got this information.”

8. #7 Isn’t the Only Example of the FBI Royally Fucking Up a Simple Task

“Finally, the Committees are particularly concerned about the serious nature of allegations contained in a CIA memorandum found by the Joint Inquiry Staff in the files of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. That memorandum, which discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi Government officials, and members of the Saudi Royal Family, was drafted by a CIA officer [redacted], relying primarily on information from FBI files. The CIA officer sent it to the CTC to determine whether CIA had additional information. He also provided a copy to the FBI agent responsible for the investigation of one of the individuals discussed in the memorandum. Despite the clear national implications of the CIA memorandum, the FBI agent included the memorandum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI headquarters. FBI headquarters, therefore, was unaware of statements in the memorandum until the Joint Inquiry brought the memorandum’s implication to the Bureau’s attention. [last sentence redacted]”

9. While there is Plenty of Intel on al-Bayoumi, less is Disclosed about his Associate Osama Bassnan

Redacted1.png

“Bassnan was a very close associate of Omar al-Bayoumi’s and was in telephone contact with al-Bayoumi several times a day while they were both in San Diego. Bassnan also has close ties to a number of other individuals connected to the hijackers, including Omar Bakarbashat, discussed below, who is referred to in FBI documents as Bassnan’s brother in law…Bassnan lived in the apartment complex in San Diego across the street from (hijackers) al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar…The FBI is aware of contact between the hijackers and a close friend of Bassnan’s, Khaled al-Kayed, a commercial airline pilot and certified flight instructor living in San Diego. Al-Kayed admitted to the FBI that in May 2000, al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi contacted him about learning to fly Boeing jet aircraft.”

10. Perhaps the Most Damning Part of the Report

“In review of telephone records, the FBI learned that al-Bayoumi called Saudi Government establishments in the United States almost 100 times between January and May of 2000…According to FBI documents, al-Bayoumi’s pay increased during the time that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar [the hijackers] were in the United States…al-Bayoumi generally received $465 per month in ‘allowances.’ According to the [redacted] document, in March 2000, a month after al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar arrived in San Diego, his ‘allowances’ jumped to over $3700 a month and stayed constant until December 2000, when al-Hazmi left San Diego. Al-Bayoumi’s allowances were then decreased to approximately $3,200 a month and stayed at that rate until al-Bayoumi left the United States in August 2001, approximately one month before the September 11th attacks…Bassnan’s wife received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa. In a recent search of Bassnan’s residence, the FBI located copies of 31 cashiers checks totaling $74,000 during the period February 22, 1999 to May 30, 2002…Bassnan’s wife was allegedly receiving the funding for ‘nursing services,’ but, according to the [redacted] document, there is no evidence that Bassnan’s wife provided nursing services. [Last two and a half lines redacted].”

11. What Was that about the FBI Not Having Intel on Saudi Government Links to Terrorism?

“In 1993, the FBI became aware that Bassnan had hosted a party for the Blind Shaykh (Omar Abdel-Rahman, currently serving a life sentence for conspiracy, the investigation stemming from the 1993 World Trade Center bombings) at his house in Washington, DC in October 1992. Bassnan has made many laudatory remarks to FBI assets about Bin Ladin, referring to Bin Ladin as the official Khalifate and the ruler of the Islamic world.”

12. So is al-Bayoumi a spy? A former San Diego Agent Thinks So

“[Al-Bayoumi] acted like an intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing or payment of some sort, then I would say there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi Intelligence and UBL.”

13. Osama bin-Laden’s Half Brother, an anti-Western Mosque in LA, and the Saudi Royal Family

“According to FBI documents and a CIA referendum, [the hijackers] may have been in contact with Shaykh al-Thumairy, an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the ‘imams’ at the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City California. Also according to FBI documents, the mosque was built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque was reportedly attended by members of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and is widely recognized for its anti-Western views…Abdullah Bin Ladin claims to work for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. as an administrative officer. He is identified by the FBI as Usama Bin Laden’s half brother. He is a close friend of Mohammed Quadir-Harunani, a possible associate of Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi prior to September 11, 2001…Several subjects of FBI investigations prior to September 11 had close connections to the mosque and are believed to have laundered money through this mosque to non-profit organizations overseas affiliated with Usama Bin Ladin. In an interview, an FBI agent said he believed that Saudi Government money was being laundered through the mosque.”

14. Saudi Embassy Party-goers Try to Enter the Cockpit on a Flight to D.C.

“According to an FBI agent in Phoenix, the FBI suspects Mohammad al-Qudhaeein of being [redacted]. Al-Qudhaeein was involved in a 1999 incident aboard an America West flight, which the FBI’s Phoenix office now suspects may have been a “dry run” to test airline security. During the flight, al-Qudhaeein and his associate asked the flight attendants a variety of suspicious questions; al-Qudhaeein then attempted to enter the cockpit on two occasions. Al-Qudhaeein and his associate were flying to Washington, D.C. to attend a party at the Saudi Embassy. During the course of its investigations, the FBI has discovered that both al-Qudhaeein and the other individual involved in this incident had connections to terrorism.”

15. There Seems to be a “Type.”

“[al-Qudhaeein’s] profile is similar to that of al-Bayoumi and Bassnan. He is in the United States as a student and does not have a visible means of income.”

16. The Amount of Redaction Around these Words on Page 420 is Designed to Cause Paranoia

Redacted2.png

17. Phone Numbers Linking Abu Zubaida to a Company in the US and a Saudi Diplomat in Washington

“On March 28, 2002 U.S. and coalition forces retrieved the telephone book of Abu Zubaida, whom the U.S. Government has identified as a senior al-Qa’ida operational coordinator. According to an FBI document, ‘a review of toll records have linked several of the numbers found in Zubaida’s phonebook with U.S. phone numbers.’ One of the numbers is unlisted and subscribed to by the ASPCOL Corporation in Aspen, Colorado…ASPCOL is the umbrella corporation that manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The facility is protected by Scimitar Security. Agents of the Denver Field Office noted that neither ASPCOL nor Scimitar Security is listed in the phone book or is easily locatable. In addition, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office has no record of ASPCOL.”

18. Prince Bandar (Who was Close Enough with W. to Earn the Nickname “Bandar Bush”) Stinks

“According to the FBI, the phone number of an individual named [redacted]of McLean, Virginia was found within the effects of Abu Zubaida. [Redacted] is reportedly a bodyguard at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. The FBI now suspects that he may be a [redacted]. In a September 17, 2002 document, the FBI notes that the Bureau is opening an investigation on [redacted] due to the size and value of his residence and his suspicious activity in approaching U.S. Intelligence Community personnel. It also appears that [redacted] has been in contact with [redacted], which is located at [redacted] in McLean, Virginia. The FBI has identified this as the address of Prince Bandar.”

19. Saudi Naval Officers were in Contact with 9/11 Hijackers?!?!?

“FBI documents also indicate that several Saudi Naval officers were in contact with the September 11 hijackers. FBI documents state that the San Diego field office opened a counterterrorism investigation on an individual named Osama Nooh, a Saudi Naval officer, due to his association with Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In addition, Lafi al-Harbi, another Saudi Naval officer, was in telephonic contact with flight 77 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi on nine occasions from March 11, 2000 to March 27, 2000.”

20. The Saudi Royal Family and Osama bin-Laden Shared a Pilot

“According to the FBI, an individual named Fahad Abdullah Saleh Bakala was close friends with September 11 hijackers Ahmed al-Ghamdi and Hamza al-Ghamdi. Bakala previously ‘worked as a pilot for the Saudi Royal family, flying Usama Bin Ladin between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia during UBL’s exile.’”

21. A Saudi Prince’s Travel Buddy was Scoping Out Security at the Border

“The FBI’s Phoenix Field Office also received source reporting in 1999 that [redacted] was checking security at the Southwest border and discussing the possibility of infiltrating individuals into the United States. The FBI has developed information that [redacted] has close ties with one of the Saudi Princes and accompanies him on many trips, including travel to the United States.”

22. The Saudi’s Fund Terrorism through Charitable Organizations

“There are also indications of Saudi governmental support for terrorist activity through charitable organizations…CIA, Treasury, and FBI officials have all expressed their concern about the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation’s (HIF) ties to both the Saudi Government and terrorist activity. In 1993, HIF established its U.S.-based office in Ashland, Oregon, and that office has since received approximately $700,000 from the parent offices in Saudi Arabia…the FBI has located correspondence between al-Bayoumi and the HIF. From the documents, it is clear that HIF was interested in appointing the imam of the mosque in Cajon, California that al-Bayoumi managed.”

23. San Diego and Los Angeles are at the Center of all the Money

“In approximately 1998, the FBI became aware of millions of dollars in wire transfers from the Somali community in San Diego to Al Barakaat Trading Company and other businesses affiliated with Usama Bin Laden. At the time, the funding appeared to be originating from the local Somali community in the form of donations to various Somali non-profits. However, the FBI now believes that some of the funding actually originated from Saudi Arabia and that both the [King Fahad] Mosque in Los Angeles and the Islamic Center of San Diego were involved in laundering the money.”

24. With Intelligence Gathering, the Saudi’s are Unhelpful at Best

“One FBI agent described on investigation after September 11 in which he provided the Saudi Government with copies of the subjects’ Saudi passports. The Saudi Government maintained that they had no record of the subjects.”

25. “Saudi Assistance to the U.S. Government on this Manner was Contrary to Saudi National Interests”

“There is a May 1996 memo from the DCI’s Counterterrorist Center [redacted] stating that the Saudis had stopped providing background information or other assistance on Bin Ladin because Bin Ladin had ‘too much information about official Saudi dealings with Islamic extremists in the 1980s for Riyadh to deliver him to U.S. hands.’…The former chief of Alec Station thought that the U.S. Government’s hope of eventually obtaining Saudi cooperation was unrealistic because Saudi assistance to the U.S. Government on this manner was contrary to Saudi national interests.”

26. Saudi Arabia Refused to let the US Government talk to bin-Laden’s Accountant

“According to the former head of ALEC Station, Madani al-Tayyib managed all of Bin Ladin’s finances when Bin Ladin was in Sudan, and any expense over $1,000 had to be approved by al-Tayyib. Al-Tayyib moved to London in 1996 to work with Khalid al-Fawwaz, another important al-Qa’ida figure who has since been arrested. In the summer of 1996, al-Tayyib returned to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis continuously refused the FBI’s and CIA’s requests to talk to al-Tayyib, stating, in the words of an FBI agent, that al-Tayyib was ‘just a poor man who lost his leg. He doesn’t know anything.’”

27. These Pages have been Quite Open and Brutal to the FBI, so this must be Really Bad

Redacted3.png

28. However, the Report Did Not Come to Any Firm Conclusions

“In the October 9, 2002 closed hearing, Director Mueller stated: ‘If I have one preliminary note of caution, it is that at this point there are more questions than answers, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions before we know a lot more.’”

29. It wouldn’t be a Government Report if it Didn’t Pass the Buck at Some Point

“It should be clear that this Joint Inquiry has made no final determinations as to the reliability or sufficiency of the information regarding these issues that we found contained in FBI and CIA documents. It was not the task of this Joint Inquiry to conduct the kind of extensive investigation that would be required to determine the true significance of any such alleged connections to the Saudi Government. On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a [redacted]” dated July 2, 2002, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi Government.’ On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.”

30. Why it’s Hard to Pin All this Down

[Redacted] explained:

“The issues that come up are who knows about the payments, on whose behalf are the payments being made, are they being made on behalf of the central government or are they being made by a local official or person. Do the people who are making the payments know what’s happening to the money? If they do know what’s happening, why are they making the payments? Is it a form of blackmail? Do they recognize the terrorist support? There’s the issue of are they regulating themselves as well as are they doing the due diligence that they ought to.”

31. The Most Likely Explanation

A different [Redacted] testified:

“So there is certainly a good, good chance that there are sympathizers or extremists, sympathizers possibly for al-Qa’ida within the security services. Abu Zubaydah said he’s confident that al-Qa’ida must have contact certainly with Saudis in the United States and that al-Qa’ida and Usama Bin Laden are particularly – they invest significant energy in cultivating what Abu Zubaydah called good relationships with Saudis of all standing…He said Bin Ladin is very pleased when Saudis in the military, those successful in business and those close to the royal family lend active support to his cause. He said Bin Ladin actively seeks out such relationships.”

32. The “Saudi Connection” Seemed to Only Gain Traction After this Investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller said in an October 9, 2002 closed hearing:

“I’m saying the sequence of events here, I think the staff probed and, as a result of the probing, some facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before, and perhaps would not have come to light had the staff not probed.”

This investigation certainly seemed to spur some action within the government to pressure Saudi Arabia, as Hillary Clinton wrote in a leaked cable from 2009:

“While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority. Due in part to intense focus by the USG over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has begun to make important progress on this front and has responded to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States through proactively investigating and detaining financial facilitators of concern. Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

One of the consequences of America’s energy boom is less of a reliance on Saudi Arabia, which likely had a role in the release of these 28 pages. The fact that 15 of the 19 attackers on 9/11 hailed from Saudi Arabia should have raised some obvious alarm bells, but since big media in the US simply retweets most of what is fed to them by our military, it did not focus on this glaring fact for nearly long enough. The 9/11 report is a perfect example of the importance of civilian government’s oversight of the military, especially in an era where some of our largest media institutions have abandoned their posts as the guardians of democracy. Hopefully we can resolve these issues with one of our most vital allies before we reach the day we are no longer beholden to Saudi oil, breaking the only chain uniting the West and the hub of the ideology that wishes to destroy the West.

ShareTweetSubmitPinMore