Larisa Alexandrovna has put together a great introduction and companion to a February 14th news summary from Paul Thompson of History Commons (formerly and/or aka Cooperative Research).
Larisa’s piece, “FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report“, has brought the FBI document (and Paul’s analysis of it) to my attention, and stirred up quite a bit of interest among other bloggers (hooray!), You should read the whole thing. Here’s a teaser:
Newly-released records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request contradict the 9/11 Commission’s report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raise fresh questions about the role of Saudi government officials in connection to the hijackers.
They raise fresh questions about the role of American government officials, too; and about the so-called “hijackers”.
The nearly 300 pages of a Federal Bureau of Investigation timeline used by the 9/11 Commission as the basis for many of its findings were acquired through a FOIA request filed by Kevin Fenton, a 26 year old translator from the Czech Republic. The FBI released the 298-page “hijacker timeline” Feb. 4.
The FBI timeline reveals that alleged hijacker Hamza Al-Ghamdi, who was aboard the United Airlines flight which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, had booked a future flight to San Francisco. He also had a ticket for a trip from Casablanca to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
Suicide bombers with plans for after the attack? How fascinating!!
The timeline is heavily redacted (you can see a page that’s been completely obliterated at the top of this post), but there are sill are all sorts of other contradictions, as well as plenty of other evidence of official obfuscation.
As Larisa says,
If you’re not up to the task of reading 300 pages and figuring out what’s new in them, read the rest of Larisa’s piece and then read Paul Thompson’s: “2/14/2008: Newly Released FBI Timeline Reveals New Information about 9/11 Hijackers that Was Ignored by 9/11 Commission“.
Thompson’s sub-head reads:
Latest Findings Raise New Questions about Hijackers and Suggest Incomplete Investigation
That’s putting it mildly. Just a few excerpts:
New evidence suggests that some of the hijackers were assisted by employees of the Saudi government. It has previously been reported that Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi who was paid by the Saudi government despite not doing any work, assisted hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi when they first moved to the US. The FBI timeline shows that when these two hijackers moved into their first San Diego apartment, they indicated that they had been living with Bayoumi in the apartment next door for the previous two weeks. In fact, they had been with him in that apartment since January 15, 2000, the very day they first flew into the US, arriving in Los Angeles. The timeline also reveals that hijacker Hani Hanjour was seen in Bayoumi’s apartment.
Here’s more on Bayoumi, from the second page of Larisa’s piece:
Much has been reported about Omar al-Bayoumi and his alleged relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia. In his recent book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, New York Times reporter Phillip Shenon discusses at length the questions surrounding Bayoumi and his ties to the Saudi government.
“Bayoumi seemed clearly to be working for some part of the Saudi government,” Shenon wrote on page 52. “He entered the United States as a business student and had lived San Diego since 1996. He was on the payroll of an aviation contractor to the Saudi government, paid about $2,800 a month, but apparently did no work for the company.”
In fact, Bayoumi was an employee of the Saudi defense contractor Dallah Avco. According to a 2002 Newsweek article about Bayoumi, Dallah Avco is “an aviation-services company with extensive contracts with the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation, headed by Prince Sultan, the father of the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar.”
Newsweek points to another connection between Bayoumi and Bandar: “About two months after al-Bayoumi began aiding Alhazmi and Almihdhar, NEWSWEEK has learned, al-Bayoumi’s wife began receiving regular stipends, often monthly and usually around $2,000, totaling tens of thousands of dollars. The money came in the form of cashier’s checks, purchased from Washington’s Riggs Bank by Princess Haifa bint Faisal, the daughter of the late King Faisal and wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi envoy who is a prominent Washington figure and personal friend of the Bush family. The checks were sent to a woman named Majeda Ibrahin Dweikat, who in turn signed over many of them to al-Bayoumi’s wife (and her friend), Manal Ahmed Bagader. The Feds want to know: Was this well-meaning charity gone awry? Or some elaborate money-laundering scheme? A scam? Or just a coincidence?”
Some credit cards used by the hijackers were still used in the US after 9/11. For instance, a credit card jointly owned by Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi was used twice on September 15. This helps confirm news reports from late 2001 that hijacker credit cards were used on the East Coast as late as early October 2001. At the time, a government official said that while some of the cards might have been stolen, “We believe there are additional people out there” who helped the hijackers.
When Ahmed Alghamdi arrived in the US from London on May 5, 2001, an immigration inspector apparently noted that Alghamdi commented to him that the media was distorting the facts about Osama bin Laden and that bin Laden was a good Muslim. Alghamdi also indicated that he was travelling with more than $10,000 worth of currency. Shortly after 9/11, the New York Times, Washington Post, and other newspapers reported that by the spring of 2001, US customs was investigating Alghamdi and two other future 9/11 hijackers for their connections to known al-Qaeda operatives. One British newspaper even noted that Alghamdi should have been “instantly ‘red-flagged’ by British intelligence” as he passed through London on his way to the US because of a warning about his links to al-Qaeda. It has not been explained how Alghamdi was able to pass through British and US customs, even as he was openly praising bin Laden.
When hijacker Satam Al Suqami’s passport was recovered on 9/11 on the street near the World Trade Center, it was “soaked in jet fuel.”
It has previously been reported that shortly before 9/11, hijackers Nawaf Alhamzi and Khalid Almihdhar left a bag at a mosque in Laurel, Maryland, with a note attached to it saying, “Gift for the brothers.” The FBI’s timeline identifies this mosque as the Ayah Islamic Center. But the only contents mentioned in the bag were pilot log books, receipts, and other evidence documenting the brief flight training that Alhazmi and Almihdhar underwent in San Diego in early 2000. It is unclear why they would have kept the receipts, some mentioning their names, for over a year and then left them at a mosque to be found. After 9/11, a former high-level intelligence official told journalist Seymour Hersh that “Whatever trail was left [by the hijackers] was left deliberately—for the FBI to chase.”
On March 20, 2000, either Khalid Almihdhar or Nawaf Alhazmi used a phone registered to Alhazmi to make a call from San Diego to an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen, run by Almihdhar’s father-in-law. The call lasted 16 minutes. According to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, the call was intercepted by the NSA, which had been intercepting Alhazmi and Almihdhar’s calls for over a year, but the FBI was not informed of the hijackers’ presence in the US. The call is only briefly mentioned as a family phone call by the 9/11 Commission in a endnote, and it is not mentioned that the call was monitored.
The FBI timeline shows other intriguing hints that the hijackers had associates in the US. For instance, on September 8, 2001, hijackers Majed Moqed and Hani Hanjour went to a bank with an unnamed Middle Eastern male. This man presented a Pennsylvania driver’s license for identification, but none of the 9/11 hijackers have been reported to have a driver’s license from that state. There is also a highly redacted section hinting that a woman in Laurel, Maryland, was helping Middle Eastern men and may have had links to hijackers Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah.
Several months ago, the London Times reported on an al-Qaeda leader imprisoned in Turkey named Luai Sakra. Sakra claims to have trained six of the hijackers in Turkey, including Satam Al Suqami. The FBI’s timeline supports his account, because Al Suqami’s passport record indicates he spent much of his time between late September 2000 and early April 2001 in Turkey. Furthermore, Sakra claimed that Al Suqami was one of the hijacker leaders, and not just another “muscle” hijacker as US investigators have alleged. The FBI’s timeline supports this, because it shows that Al Suqami was frequently on the move from 1998 onwards, flying to Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Malaysia, as well as Turkey, and he travelled to most of these countries more than once. This is particularly important because contributors to the History Commons have put together evidence suggesting that Sakra was a CIA asset before 9/11, which would suggest that Al Suqami and other hijackers were actually trained by a CIA asset.
It’s the biggest scam ever. There’s more and more and more. Thompson concludes this way:
Unfortunately, much of the FBI timeline is heavily censored, with entire pages sometimes being completely redacted. But from what we do know, this timeline indicates that many questions remain about the hijackers and the 9/11 attacks. We know that the FBI’s timeline was available to the 9/11 Commission, so why did the commission fail to mention any of the information listed above?
It’s interesting to compare the results of the 9/11 Commission with the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that proceeded it. For instance, while the 9/11 Commission downplayed any possible ties between the hijackers and the Saudi government, the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry wrote an entire chapter on the topic. Unfortunately, all 28 pages of that chapter were censored. But Sen. Bob Graham, co-chair of the inquiry, later claimed that evidence relating to the two hijackers who lived in San Diego “presented a compelling case that there was Saudi assistance” to the 9/11 plot. He alleged that Omar al-Bayoumi in fact was a Saudi intelligence agent. He also concluded that President Bush directed the FBI “to restrain and obfuscate” investigations into these ties.
Now, we’re finally beginning to see some of what was in those missing 28 pages. One anonymous official who has seen the pages claims: “We’re not talking about rogue elements. We’re talking about a coordinated network that reaches right from the hijackers to multiple places in the Saudi government.”
The 9/11 Commission also downplayed the idea that the hijackers had any assistance in the US. The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, by contrast, noted that many people who interacted with the hijackers in the US, including Omar al-Bayoumi, were under FBI investigation even before 9/11.
Unfortunately, neither the 9/11 Commission nor the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry was a complete and unbiased investigation. If this timeline reflects just some of what only the FBI knew about the hijackers one month after the attacks, one can only guess at how much more all the US agencies combined know about the hijackers now. Why is that information being kept secret?
Well … I have a pretty good idea why all that information is being kept secret, and I could tell Paul and Larisa all about it, but they wouldn’t believe me. They’re not into wacky conspiracy theories. But they don’t need to be. Who needs wacky conspiracy theories?
Bandar’s wife sends al-Bayoumi’s wife money every month through a cutout. al-Bayoumi is a Saudi intelligence agent, who has been helping the “hijackers” since the moment they arrived. Bandar is a “close personal friend” of the “president”, who directed the FBI “to restrain and obfuscate” the investigations. And now most of the details are still redacted.
So … what do you think? Was it all a mistake? Was is just a coincidence? Was it mere incompetence?
I mean, did those checks from Bandar’s wife end up in the hands of al-Bayoumi’s wife by accident?
Sure, they did!