Though much is still redacted, they also show the Saudi government’s ties to the hijackers and other al Qaeda suspects were so extensive that the FBI’s Washington field office created a special squad to investigate the Saudi angle.
But this special focus on Saudi Arabia occurred belatedly, only after the 9/11 attacks, “due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.’ ” Astoundingly, investigative resources were not dedicated to Saudi involvement in financing and supporting terrorism prior to 9/11.
The explosive information was locked up in a top-secret, highly secured room in the basement of the US Capitol for the past 15 years, ostensibly to protect the Kingdom from embarrassment. (The Post helped get the declassification ball rolling with the December 2013 piece, “Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup.”)
That means for 15 years, 9/11 victims and their families have been denied by their own government critical evidence they’ve sought to sue the Saudi government for responsibility in the death of their loved ones.
It also means Washington has misled the American people about foreign sponsorship of 9/11. For 15 years, we’ve been told that al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. We were led to believe that 15 Saudi nationals who barely spoke English received no help while in America; that they operated in isolation, like visitors from outer space.
It was all a monstrous lie.
FBI files show Saudi agent Omar al-Bayoumi provided “substantial assistance” to Saudi hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000. Hazmi was the leader of the cell that attacked the Pentagon, while Mihdhar was one of that cell’s muscle hijackers. The two even stayed at Bayoumi’s apartment, working out in his gym.
At the same time he was aiding the hijackers, Bayoumi was getting large salary increases from a Saudi defense front company tied to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, where he worked as a ghost employee. Another alleged Saudi intelligence officer who handled the hijackers, Osama Bassnan, worked closely with Bayoumi.
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