Washington: The Biden administration declassified an FBI memo Saturday that fortified suspicions of official Saudi involvement with the hijackers within the September 11, 2001 assaults, nevertheless it fell effectively in need of proof that victims’ households suing Saudi Arabia had hoped for.
The memo from April 4, 2016, which had been labeled till now, confirmed hyperlinks between Omar Bayoumi, on the time a pupil however suspected to have been a Saudi intelligence operative, and two of the Al-Qaeda operatives who took half within the plot to hijack and crash 4 airliners into targets in New York and Washington.
Primarily based on 2009 and 2015 interviews with a supply whose id is classed, the doc particulars contacts and conferences between Bayoumi and the 2 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Midhar, after the 2 arrived in Southern California in 2000 forward of the assaults.
It additionally strengthens already-reported hyperlinks between the 2 and Fahad al Thumairy, a conservative imam on the King Faad mosque in Los Angeles and an official on the Saudi consulate there.
The doc says that phone numbers related to the supply indicated contact with various individuals who assisted Hamzi and Midhar whereas they had been in California, together with Bayoumi and Thumairy, in addition to the supply himself.
It says the supply advised the FBI that Bayoumi, past his official id as a pupil, had “very high status” within the Saudi consulate.
“Bayoumi’s assistance to Hamzi and Midha included translation, travel, lodging and financing,” the memo stated.
The memo additionally stated that the FBI supply’s spouse advised them Bayoumi typically talked about “jihad.”
And it additional connects by conferences, cellphone calls and different communications, Bayoumi and Thumairy with Anwar al Alaki, the US-born cleric who turned an vital Al-Qaeda determine earlier than he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
The doc launched was nonetheless considerably redacted and didn’t supply a transparent direct hyperlink between the Saudi authorities and the hijackers.
It was launched after President Joe Biden was pressured by members of the family of these killed on 9/11 who’ve sued Saudi Arabia for complicity.
Jim Kreindler, one of many leaders of the lawsuit, stated the doc validates the lawsuit’s key competition that the Saudi authorities helped the hijackers.
“With this first release of documents, 20 years of Saudi Arabia counting on the US government to cover up its role in 9/11 comes to an end,” Kreindler stated in a press release.
The households are nonetheless hoping for stronger proof when extra labeled materials is launched inside the following six months, based mostly on a Biden order.