US authorities today made public the FBI documents that reinforce suspicions of involvement of the Saudi government in the September 11 attacks, without, however, providing the evidence that the victims’ relatives expected.
The document, dated April 4, 2016, and so far secret, describes the terrorists’ contacts with Saudi citizens in the United States but does not contain clear evidence of possible involvement of the Riyadh government in the plan to attack the country.
The 16-page report, with several censored excerpts, was declassified under an order by US President Joe Biden to publish hitherto secret documents on the FBI’s investigation into the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Of the 19 terrorists who hijacked the four planes that crashed that day, killing some 3,000, 15 were Saudis.
The note emphasizes the links between Omar al-Bayoumi, a presumed Saudi agent based in California, and two of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, to whom he has provided logistical assistance.
The document, based on interviews conducted in 2009 and 2015 with a source whose identity is kept secret, details Omar al-Bayoumi’s contacts and encounters with Nawafal-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, who both arrived in California in 2000.
It also shows stronger than hitherto known links between these two men and Fahad al-Thumairy, conservative imam of a Los Angeles mosque and accredited diplomat at the Saudi consulate in the late 1990s.
According to the document, telephone numbers associated with the source show contacts with people who helped Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, including Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy, and including the source himself.
The source told the FBI that al-Bayoumi, despite his official student status, occupied “a very high position” at the Saudi consulate.
“Bayoumi’s help to Hamzi and Midha included translations, travel, accommodation and financing,” according to the statement.
The woman at the source said al-Bayoumi often spoke of ‘jihad’, according to the document.
The note also establishes other connections, meetings, telephone conversations, and other communications between al-Bayoumi and Thumairy and the Yemeni-American Anouar al-Aulaqi, al-Qaida propagandist in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqpa) killed by American ‘drones’ in Yemen in September 2011.
However, the document now published does not offer any direct link between the Government of Riyadh and the hijackers.
He was disqualified after pressure on Joe Biden by the families of the victims who accused Saudi Arabia in a court of complicity in the organization of the attacks.
Three successive administrations have refused to declassify and publish documents on the investigations into the attacks, having been accused of wanting to protect the historic alliance between Washington and Riyadh.
The Sunni monarchy has always denied any involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and in 2004 an American commission of inquiry dismissed any suspicions about Riyadh.
Jim Kreindler, one of the leading lawyers for the victims’ families in the Riyadh case, considered that the document now released supports the argument that the Saudi government supported the hijackers.
“With this first declassification of documents, 20 years of Saudi Arabia relying on the US government to cover its role in 9/11 are coming to an end,” Jim Kreindler said in a statement.
Families are now awaiting stronger evidence with the publication of other declassified documents, which is expected in the next six months, according to the decree signed earlier this month by Joe Biden.
Source: with agencies