Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saudi Arabia and 9/11: the "28 Pages"

The "28 pages" on Saudi Arabia from the 9/11 Commission report just released on Friday make interesting reading!

Although the released document that can be found here actually constitutes 29 pages plus a cover page, with the transmittal letter for this release included.

A character named Osarna Bassnan was a Saudi national who had worked for the Saudi Arabian Education Ministry and an "FBI asset" reported that Bassnan told him he had aided the 9/11 hijackers. The fact that Bassnan, uh, lived across the street in San Diego from two of the hijackers (Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar) could have it convenient to do.

The twenty-nine "28 pages" also say, that Bassnan and his wife "have received financial support from the Saudi Ambassador to thye United States and his wife." That Ambassador was Bandar bin Sultan, who was so close to the Bush family they nicknamed him "Bandar Bush." Bandar Bush is now head of Saudi intelligence.

Charlie Pierce comments in What We Know from the 28 Pages Esquire Politics Blog 07/15/2016.

Murtaza Hussain comments on them in Saudi Ties to 9/11 Detailed in Documents Suppressed Since 2002 The Intercept 07/15/2016:

One of the most notable figures mentioned is Omar al-Bayoumi, alleged by the report to have likely been a Saudi intelligence agent. Al-Bayoumi was in close contact with hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, providing them financial assistance during their time in the United States and even helping them find an apartment. Bayoumi in turn is believed to have been on the payroll of the Saudi Ministry of Defense and was regularly in receipt of large lump sums of money from the Saudi Ministry of Finance and other undisclosed arms of the government.

Another figure highlighted in the documents is Osama Bassnan, a Saudi citizen who was an associate of al-Bayoumi and lived in an apartment nearby al-Hazmi and al-Midhar. According to the report, Bassnan “made a comment to an FBI source after the attacks suggesting that he did more for the hijackers than al-Bayoumi did.” Bassnan and his wife received regular payments from the wife of Bandar bin Sultan. On one occasion, Bassnan is said to have received a check directly from Bandar’s account.

Fahd al-Thumairy, a former Saudi consular officer in the United States who served as an imam at a mosque attended by al-Hazmi and al-Midhar, is also mentioned briefly, as is Saleh al-Hussayen, who is described in the report as a “Saudi Interior Ministry employee/official.” Al-Hussayen stayed at the same hotel as one of the hijackers in the days before the attack. While being interviewed by FBI agents after the attacks, al-Hussayen “either passed out or feigned a seizure,” causing the interview to be terminated. He later managed to successfully flee the country.
Marcy Wheeler blogs on it in FBI Established Saudi Task Force Just before Joint Inquiry Release Emptywheel 07/15/2016: "The pages are actually more damning than I expected. It lays out many damning details we already knew of: including that Bandar bin Sultan’s wife was providing money to one of the suspect Saudi intelligence people, several Saudi apparent agents provided support for the hijackers, and an apparent dry run for the attack was conducted by someone paid by the Saudis."

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