FBI ‘whitewashing’ Saudi link to 9/11 terrorist attacks: Report
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been accused of "whitewashing" Saudi Arabia's possible involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, a report says
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been accused of "whitewashing" Saudi Arabia's possible involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, a report says.
According to The New York Post, the 9/11 commission did not look into an FBI agent's report about a Saudi family that fled their home in Sarasota, Florida right before the attacks.
The home belonged to Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of then-King Fahd which was occupied by his daughter and son-in-law. The family, who had lived in the house for nearly 6 years, hurriedly went back to Saudi Arabia 15 days prior to the attacks.
Neighbors later informed the FBI of the incident leading the agency to open an investigation on Sept. 19, 2001 which revealed that at least one "family member" trained at the same flight school where some of the 9/11 hijackers in nearby Venice, Fla received training.
The investigation was led by the FBI's Tampa field office in cooperation with the bureau's field offices in New York and Washington, and also the Southwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force.
According to the investigation, which continued for several years, some persons of interest were identified in the case who had links with other terrorists and sympathies with slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and anti-American remarks.
After further probes, the FBI could track at least one suspect's re-entry into the United States. However, not only the agency did not share its findings with Congress but also refused to mention it in the 9/11 Commission Report.
The findings are still being whitewashed in a newly-released report by the Review Commission set up last year by Congress to evaluate "any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission."
Although, the FBI admits that the Saudi family was investigated, it asserts that the investigation was a dead end.
One local FBI report generated from the investigation said that Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, the Saudi couple, had "many connections" to "individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001."
However, the panel said in its report that "the FBI told the Review Commission that the communication was ‘poorly written' and wholly unsubstantiated."
Former Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, says he believed the FBI was covering up Saudi links. He is now calling on President Barack Obama to declassify the final congressional report.
He says the secret pages highlight a fact that Saudi Arabia was the principal financer of the attacks.