FBI document hints at Saudi Arabia's cooperation with 9/11 attack hijackers
The document that was revealed was heavily censored and did not explicitly link the Saudi government to the hijackers. It was published due to demand from family members of 9/11 victims who have sued Saudi Arabia for involvement.
The Biden administration declassified an FBI document on Saturday that strengthened suspicions of official Saudi cooperation with the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks, but it fell far short of the proof that victims' families hoping to sue Saudi Arabia had hoped for. The letter, which had been classified until recently, revealed ties between Omar Bayoumi, a student at the time but thought to be a Saudi intelligence officer and two of the Al-Qaeda members involved in the conspiracy to hijack and crash four planes into targets in New York and Washington.
Based on conversations with a source whose name has been withheld between 2009 and 2015, the paper recounts interactions and meetings between Bayoumi and the two hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Midhar, when the two landed in Southern California ahead of the attacks in 2000. It also reinforces previously known ties between the two and Fahad al Thumairy, a hardline imam at Los Angeles' King Faad mosque and an official at the Saudi embassy.
According to the document, the source's phone numbers showed communication with several persons who supported Hamzi and Midhar when they were in California, including Bayoumi and Thumairy, as well as the source himself. According to the report, the informant told the FBI that Bayoumi had "extremely high standing" at the Saudi embassy, in addition to his official identity as a student. According to the document, "Bayoumi's assistance to Hamzi and Midha included translation, travel, housing, and finance." The document also stated that the FBI source's wife informed them Bayoumi frequently discussed "jihad."
The document that was revealed was heavily censored and did not explicitly link the Saudi government to the hijackers. It was published due to demand from family members of 9/11 victims who have sued Saudi Arabia for involvement. Three US administrations have declined to declassify and reveal records relating to the case, ostensibly to avoid jeopardising the US-Saudi alliance.