Congress finally received the 28 pages about 9/11 they have been asking for.
Ties to the Saudi government and miscommunication within federal agencies were some of the eye-opening revelations from a formerly classified congressional report on 9/11 that was released Friday.
The secret document, which became known as the “28 pages,” has remained classified even after the 2002 Congressional Joint Inquiry report on the Sept. 11 attacks was completed. After repeated calls for it to be released, Congress finally received it from the administration on Friday.
Actually containing 29 pages of material, the document also includes a letter from then-CIA Director George Tenet.
Here are 5 major takeaways:
The report revealed a connection between the 9/11 hijackers and individuals who may have had Saudi government connections.
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”
The report fuels long-held suspicions that the Saudi royal family may have helped finance the hijackers.
“The [REDACTED] memorandum dated July 2, 2002, incorrectly noted that al-Bayoumi’s wife, while living in San Diego, was receiving $1200 a month from Princess Haifa Bint Sultan, the wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The FBI has now confirmed that only Osama Bassnan’s wife received money directly from Prince Bandar’s wife, but that al-Bayoumi’s wife attemped to deposit three of the checks from Prince Bandar’s wife, which were payable to Bassnan’s wife, into her accounts.”
Saudis in the United States connected to the government in Saudi Arabia may have helped the hijackers, the report confirmed.
“When al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar moved to San Diego, al-Bayoumi provided them with considerable assistance. Before the hijackers moved in with the long-time FBI informant, they stayed at el-Bayoumi’s apartment for several days until al-Bayoumi was able to find them an apartment. Al-Bayoumi then co-signed their lease and may have paid their first month’s rent and security deposit.
After al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar moved into their own apartment, al-Bayoumi threw a party to welcome them to the San Diego community. He also tasked Modhar Abdullah, another individual from the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD), to help them get acclaimed to the United States. Abdullah served as their translator, helped them get drivers’ licenses, and assisted them in locating flight schools.”
The document also revealed a possible “dry run” to test airline security prior to the attack on 9/11.
“According to an FBI agent in Phoenix, the FBI suspects Mohammed al-Qudhaeein of being [REDACTED]. Al Qudhaeein was involved in a 1999 incident aboard an America West flight, which the FBI’s Phoenix office now suspects may have been a “dry run” to test airline security.
During the flight, al-Qudhaeein and his associate asked the flight attendants a variety of suspicious questions. Al-Qudhaeein then attempted to enter the cockpit on two occasions. Al-Qudhaeein and his associate were flying to Washington, D.C. to attend a party at the Saudi Embassy, and both claimed their tickets were paid for by the Saudi Embassy.
During the course of the investigations, the FBI has discovered that both al-Qudhaeein and the other individuals involved in this incident had connections to terrorism.”
Miscommunication between the CIA and FBI were also revealed in the report, citing an incident in which a CIA memorandum “which discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi Government officials, and members of the Saudi Royal Family” was placed into an FBI case file but never forwarded.
“Despite the clear national implications of the CIA memorandum, the FBI agent included the memorandum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI Headquarters. FBI Headquarters, therefore, was unaware of statements in the memorandum until the Joint Inquiry brought the memorandum’s implications to the Bureau’s attention.”
The released report also revealed that the U.S. and Saudi governments could have done a better job in sharing intelligence.
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