Congress investigated in 2002 how the U.S. intelligence community failed to stop 9/11 and produced a comprehensive report, but classified 28 pages on the nature of the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement.
Former Sen. Bob Graham pushed hard for the declassification of the pages so the American people could understand the role the Saudi government played in 9/11. The 28 pages were declassified Friday, here are the key takeaways:
Perhaps most damning, the report found senior al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaida, who was captured in the U.S. in 2002, had phone numbers tied to the same company which managed a Colorado residence of the Saudi ambassador the U.S. Zubaida also had a phone number for a bodyguard at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The finding found the intelligence community did not adequately focus on the Saudi connection to al-Qaida and called this lapse “unacceptable, given the magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to U.S. National Security.”
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government,” the report says. The report found two of the 9/11 hijackers, al-Midhar and al-Hazmi, received financial assistance from a man named Omar Al-Bayoumi.
The report found “the FBI received numerous reports from individuals in the Muslim community….alleging that al-Bayoumi may be a Saudi Intelligence officer.” Baymoumi was found to have received a salary from a company connected to the Saudi Ministry of Defense and that “reportedly had ties to Usama bin Laden and Al Qaida.”
Hazmi and Midar also reportedly received support from a man named Osama Bassan. Bassan lived across the street from the hijackers “and made a comment to an FBI asset that he did more than al-Bayoumi for the Hijackers.” Furthermore, “according to a CIA memo Bassan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials.”
Beyond direct ties to the hijackers, the report also found that “individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to Al Qaida and other terrorist groups.” These connections included a mosque in Culver City that acted as a money laundering front for al-Qaida and the Saudi government.
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