After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, where the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers were destroyed and the Pentagon was damaged, the 911 Commission prepared a book-length report on the incident.
When the original report was released, 28 pages were entirely redacted. Leaks suggested that these 28 pages described Saudi connections to the terrorists. After years of holding back, the government has finally released the 28 pages [PDF], albeit with some redactions remaining.
The release was timed for this Friday afternoon coinciding with the aftermath of a fresh terror attack in Nice, France where a truck ran over hundreds and killed some 84 people celebrating Bastille Day.
As per earlier leaks, the 28 pages cover connections of Saudi officials to September 11 terrorists. These connections are described in the chapter title as “Sensitive National Security Matters.” The findings of this chapter declare that such Saudi connections existed and provide some specific evidence, some already known to the public. (Italicized paragraphs are direct quotes from the report.)
Finding: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, Primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi Intelligence officers…
According to various FBI documents and at least one CIA memorandum, some of the September 11 hijackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.
FIVE KEY PERSONS OF INTEREST who had contacts with both the terrorists and the “Saudi Government” were listed right up front. Others were also listed later in the 28 pages, but some names were still redacted. Here are the five main connections.
1. OMAR AL-BAYOUMI
Al-Bayoumi met the hijackers at a public place shortly after his meeting with an individual at the Saudi consulate …
During the same timeframe, al-Bayoumi had extensive contact with Saudi Government establishments …
Someone whose name was redacted told the FBI that al-Bayoumi received a monthly salary from a “Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.” He received a “monthly salary even though he had been there on only one occasion.” The company “reportedly had ties to Usama Bin Ladin and al-Qa’ida.”
2. OSAMA BASSNAN
Osama Bassnan … was a close associate with al-Bayoumi and Oma Bakarbashat, another one of the hijackers’ close associates. He also lived across the street from the hijackers.
Osama Bassnan told an FBI asset that he “did more than al-Bayoumi did for the hijackers.”
The FBI also documented that Osama Bassnan that he met two of the hijackers through al-Bayoumi.
Bassnan has may ties to the Saudi Government, including past employment [at the] education Mission.
The CIA said that Osama Bassnan “received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials.” He and his wife received “financial support from the Saudi Ambassador.”
On a trip to Houston to meet with someone redacted, “a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash.”
The FBI considered Osama Bassnan to be “an extremist” supporter of Osama Bin Ladin.
3. SHAYKH AL-THUMAIRY
Shaykh Fahad al-Thumairy was “an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.” Both the FBI and CIA said that he “may have been in contact” with hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi at the King Fahad mosque in Culver City. Funding for the mosque was provided by Crown Prince Abdulaziz.
In 2003, al-Thumairy was “expelled from the country because of suspected terrorist links.” He was interviewed in Riyadh in 2004.
4. SALEH AL-HUSSAYEN
In September 2001, Saleh al-Hussayen, reportedly a Saudi Interior Minister official, stayed at the same hotel … where al-Hamzi was staying.
Al-Hussayen claimed he did not know the hijackers and managed to avoid “FBI efforts to locate and re-interview him.”
5. ABDULLAH BIN LADIN
Abdullah Bin Ladin claims to work for the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. as an administrative officer. He is identified by the FBI as Usama Bin Ladin’s half brother. He is a close friend of Mohammed Quadir-Harunani, a possible associate of Mohammad Atta [sic] and Marwan al-Shehhi.
After these main five names listed, the 28 pages of the report continues to detail connections between the Saudi government or its officials with terrorists and “extremist” organizations.