But the most striking similarity of the two attacks was the relationship between the attackers and the Saudi ruling elite. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, shared a close relationship with the Saudi monarchy, mainly because of his father Mohammed bin Laden’s business in constructing and restoring mosques in Mecca and throughout Saudi Arabia. Until his death in a 1967 plane crash, the senior bin Laden enjoyed a close friendship with the Saudi king; his sons, including Osama bin Laden, inherited that relationship.
Based on several media accounts, the team of 15 Saudis arrived in Turkey aboard jets owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (known as MbS). Several members of the team allegedly provided personal security for MbS and are said to have been directed by MbS’s closest lieutenants, including adviser Saud al-Qahtani and Saudi deputy intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.
Although the links between the Saudi military and government in the Khashoggi killing appear to evident, the links between Saudi government officials and the 9/11 attacks remain somewhat murky. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. In a 2017 investigation, Politico documented one lawyer’s quest to prove Saudi Arabia bankrolled the 9/11 attacks. New York attorney Jim Kreindler, who represents the families of more than 800 victims of the attacks believes the terrorists had help from the Saudi government.
He is not alone in this opinion. Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), co-chair of Congress’s 9/11 Joint Inquiry, is on record stating, “I’ve stopped calling what our government has done a cover-up. Cover-up suggests a passive activity. What they’re doing now I call aggressive deception.”
Graham further notes, “I came to the conclusion that there was a support network by trying to assess how the 19 hijackers could pull it off with their significant limitations. Most couldn’t speak English, most had never been in the United States, and most were not well educated. How could they carry out such a complex task?”
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