On the evening of the twentieth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, the FBI began publishing a first document declassified under United States President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14040 of September 3, which requires the secrecy from all acts still “covered” in the investigations carried out on the attack of 11 September 2001.
The readers of Formiche.net were able to read yesterday what it is about, where the Biden initiative comes from and the geopolitical context in which it falls. The 16-page declassified document and an electronic communication from the FBI office in New York relating to the logistical support given to two of the Saudi bombers in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, details of the contacts that the terrorists they had with Saudis revolving around the Los Angeles consulate and the mosque.
The investigation, called “Investigation bis”, is quite recent, since it began with the “interviews” carried out on 12 and 13 November 2015 with a Saudi man who had asked to obtain American citizenship but who, once subjected at checks, it was discovered that he had had repeated personal and telephone contact with Omar al-Bayoum, arrested in Great Britain in 2003 for having provided logistical support to the two Saudi “students” who were actually two of the attackers of the Twin Towers.
It is noted in bold in the text that the person “interviewed” in the procedure for obtaining citizenship (whose name, like that of many sources cited, and omitted) immediately reported in detail his interrogation to the Saudi government (page 3 of the text can read here). After 14 years from the attacks, at the end of 2015.
The declassified document bears the date of April 4, 2016, just over five years ago. And while there is no evidence that high-ranking Saudi officials endorsed the plot (an accusation that Ryad vehemently rejected yesterday as well), the underlying plot is rather impressive.
There is, for example, a testimony that the Consul General of Los Angeles wanted to fire an employee, because he distributed extremist publications within the consulate, but that he was “saved” after an intervention by someone in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington has advocated the complete declassification of all documents as a way to “put an end to the baseless accusations against the Kingdom once and for all.” The embassy said any allegation of complicity by Saudi Arabia is “categorically false”.
The documents are made public at a politically sensitive time for the United States and Saudi Arabia, which have formed a strategic alliance, albeit a difficult one, especially in the area of ​​counter-terrorism. The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment involving Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of US journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding direct punishment of the royal.
Relatives of the victims of the Twin Towers said the release of the first FBI document is a significant step. Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, said it “speeds up our search for truth and justice.”
A particular examination focused on the first two hijackers to arrive in the United States, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, and the support they received. In February 2000, shortly after their arrival in Southern California, at a low-end halal restaurant on the Venice waterfront, they met Bayoumi, listed as an intelligence member, who helps them find and rent an apartment in San Diego. Bayoumi had described his meeting at the restaurant with Hazmi and Mihdhar as “accidental” and the FBI during his interview with the anonymous applicant for American citizenship and other witnesses sought to ascertain whether this characterization was accurate or whether the encounter had been actually organized. The witness said he didn’t understand.
The document also refers to Fahad al-Thumairy, at the time accredited diplomat at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, who according to investigators led an extremist faction in his mosque. The document states that communications analysis identified a seven-minute phone call in 1999 from Thumairy’s phone to the home phone of the Saudi family of two brothers who were later detained for terrorism in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay prison
. under the desecretion order, the FBI, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies will have six months to release all documents. So it’s a pretty long process.

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