Biden previously issued an executive order initiating an interagency review to possibly declassify, within six months, certain documents related to the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has published the first of several documents relating to the 9/11 investigation, under US President Joe Biden’s executive order.
“This material is being released in response to the executive order, signed September 3, 2021, [by US President Joe Biden] on the declassification review of certain documents concerning the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” the FBI said.
The publication, which appears to be heavily redacted records from the 2016 “Operation Encore”, consists of over a dozen pages of witness testimony collected mainly during a November 2015 interview, regarding “significant logistic support” provided to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.
The people who provided support to the hijackers include Omar Al Bayoumi and Fahad Al Thumairy.
Bayoumi is said to have had contact with Osama Bassnan, a man who allegedly knew the Bin Laden family and maintained communication with them.
Thumairy is said to have served as an administrative officer at the Saudi Consulate. According to FBI sources, he had extremist beliefs. He appears to have helped arrange meetings between Bayoumi and the two 9/11 hijackers.
The latter, however, appears to have been more involved in providing “logistic support to Hazmi and Midhar includ[ing] translation, travel assistance, lodging and financing.”
The FBI document says that on October 17, 1992, Bassnan hosted a party in Washington, DC, for the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Towers bombing.
Though the document describes various contacts that two of the men who hijacked planes on 9/11 had with Saudi associates in the United States, it gives no evidence that the Saudi government was complicit in the plot.
Following the release, 9/11 Families United issued a statement claiming that despite withheld information, the document contains “bombshell new revelations“.
“Even with the unfortunate number of redactions, the report contains a host of bombshell new revelations, implicating numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. The range of contacts at critical moments among these Saudi government officials, al-Qaeda and the hijackers is stunning,“ the statement reads.
US families of victims of the September 11 attacks have long pushed the US government to declassify information related to the links Saudi Arabia may have had to the terrorists who carried out the attacks.
The kingdom previously expressed full support for declassification of documents related to the 9/11 attack probes in the hope of clearing up what it described as “baseless allegations” about Riyadh’s complicity in the attacks.
On September 11, 2001, terrorists from Al Qaeda* seized four passenger planes, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center in New York and another into the Pentagon. The fourth jet came down in a field in Pennsylvania after being initially directed toward Washington.
The attacks happened in the early morning on a Tuesday. At 8:46 a.m. local time (15:45 GMT), an American Airlines (AA) Boeing 767 with 81 passengers and 11 crew members on board en route from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the North Tower of the WTC in Manhattan between the 93rd and 99th floors. At 9:03 a.m., a United Airlines (UA)-operated Boeing 767 with 56 passengers, including five terrorists and nine crew members, en route from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the South Tower between the 77th and 85th floors.
About thirty minutes later, at 9:37 a.m., an AA-operated Boeing 757 with 58 passengers, including five terrorists and six crew members on board, en route from Washington to Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon. And at 10:03 am., a UA-operated Boeing 757 with 37 passengers, including four terrorists, and seven crew members, en route from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco crashed in a field in southwestern Pennsylvania outside Shanksville, 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Washington.
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