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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Newly launched FBI memo hints at Saudi involvement with 9/11 hijackers

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WASHINGTON: The Biden administration declassified an FBI memo Saturday that fortified suspicions of official Saudi involvement with the hijackers within the September 11, 2001 assaults, but it surely fell properly in need of proof that victims’ households suing Saudi Arabia had hoped for.
The memo from April 4, 2016, which had been categorised till now, confirmed hyperlinks between Omar Bayoumi, on the time a scholar however suspected to have been a Saudi intelligence operative, and two of the Al-Qaeda operatives who took half within the plot to hijack and crash 4 airliners into targets in New York and Washington.

Primarily based on 2009 and 2015 interviews with a supply whose identification is assessed, the doc particulars contacts and conferences between Bayoumi and the 2 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Midhar, after the 2 arrived in Southern California in 2000 forward of the assaults.

It additionally strengthens already-reported hyperlinks between the 2 and Fahad al Thumairy, a conservative imam on the King Faad mosque in Los Angeles and an official on the Saudi consulate there.

The doc says that phone numbers related to the supply indicated contact with quite a lot of individuals who assisted Hamzi and Midhar whereas they had been in California, together with Bayoumi and Thumairy, in addition to the supply himself.
It says the supply instructed the FBI that Bayoumi, past his official identification as a scholar, had “very excessive standing” within the Saudi consulate.
“Bayoumi’s help to Hamzi and Midha included translation, journey, lodging and financing,” the memo stated.
The memo additionally stated that the FBI supply’s spouse instructed them Bayoumi typically talked about “jihad.”
And it additional connects by conferences, telephone calls and different communications, Bayoumi and Thumairy with Anwar al Alaki, the US-born cleric who turned an vital Al-Qaeda determine earlier than he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
The doc launched was nonetheless considerably redacted and didn’t provide a transparent direct hyperlink between the Saudi authorities and the hijackers.
It was launched after President Joe Biden was pressured by members of the family of these killed on 9/11 who’ve sued Saudi Arabia for complicity.
Three successive US administrations have refused to declassify and launch paperwork associated to the case, apparently as a result of they don’t wish to harm the US-Saudi relationship.
Jim Kreindler, one of many leaders of the lawsuit, stated the doc validates the lawsuit’s key competition that the Saudi authorities helped the hijackers.
“With this primary launch of paperwork, 20 years of Saudi Arabia relying on the US authorities to cowl up its position in 9/11 involves an finish,” Kreindler stated in an announcement.
The households are nonetheless hoping for stronger proof when extra categorised materials is launched inside the following six months, primarily based on a Biden order.

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