Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

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Saudi Arabia pledges financial retaliation for disclosing their funding of 9/11 Pentagon attackers

April 28, 2016
Saudi-supported 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar

Saudi-supported 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar

Headline:  Saudis threaten to sell US assets if they’re held responsible for role in 9/11.

Are we supposed to give a shit if they do?  Please let the door hit them on the way out.

Al Qaeda operatives Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar had their rent in San Diego paid by a Saudi agent in 2000.  The duo appeared to receive less funding from Khalid Sheikh Muhammad than the other 9/11 hijackers, suggesting that KSM knew their expenses were taken care of.  In 2001, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 to ram it into the Pentagon, killing 184 people.

Saudi Arabia may have funded additional 9/11 preparations in Florida, but that is classified.  If the U.S. discloses this classified information, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia promises to sell off its American assets.  Is that supposed to scare us?

From Jihad Watch and Fox News on Apr. 16:

Saudis threaten to sell US assets if they’re held responsible for role in 9/11

Their role is obvious; the pages detailing their role in the 9/11 Commission Report wouldn’t have been classified for all these years if it were innocuous. Now they’re threatening blackmail unless we continue to toe the line. It’s long past time to end this sham alliance with the government that has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to enflame the jihad around the world.

“Report: Saudis vow to sell US assets if Congress decides gov was involved in 9/11,” FoxNews.com, April 16, 2016:

Saudi Arabia has reportedly told the Obama administration and congressional leaders that it will sell billions of dollars in U.S. financial assets if Congress passes a bill to make the Saudi government legally responsible for any role in the 9/11 attacks.

The administration has tried to stop Congress from passing the legislation, a bipartisan Senate bill, since Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir last month told Washington lawmakers his country’s position, according to The New York Times.

Al-Jubeir purportedly informed the lawmakers during a trip to Washington that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell as much as $750 billion in Treasury securities and other American financial assets on the world market, fearing the legislation could become law and U.S. courts would then freeze the assets.

The revelations about the Saudis’ ultimatum come several days after reports that President Obama will soon decide whether to declassify 28 pages of sealed documents suspected of showing a Saudi connection to the deadly 9/11 terror attacks.

Former Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham told Fox News on Tuesday that the White House told him a decision on whether to declassify the documents would be made within 60 days…

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Graham: We didn’t conclude that Pakistani intelligence ordered transfer of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta

April 13, 2015

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fl.) recently granted an interview with 9/11 blogger Jon Gold about the joint congressional inquiry about 9/11 that Graham co-chaired. Readers will recall that 28 pages of the inquiry’s report dealing with Saudi sponsorship of some of the 9/11 hijackers remain classified.

During the interview, Gold asked Graham about the persistent rumor that the former chief of the Pakistani spy agency ISI ordered a third party to wire money to lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. Graham answered that the inquiry did not find that this had occurred, but could neither rule out that it did occur.

Listen to an excerpt from their conversation here (hat tip to 28pages.org), or read it below.

Jon Gold: From what I’ve heard, um, there are more than one country, or there is more than one country listed, within the 28 redacted pages. Can you at least confirm that much, or…?

Bob Graham: No.

Jon Gold: Ok, um, my next question, and I have heard you say that the claims regarding then head of the Pakistani ISI Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordering Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta are unsubstantiated. Many people—

Bob Graham: We didn’t—I can say that our inquiry did not, uh, reach that conclusion.

Jon Gold: Ok, so you’re saying that your inquiry looked into those allegations or no?

Bob Graham: They were part of our general inquiry. I’m not saying that we conclusively said that it didn’t happen, but we did say we could not, based on the information that we were able to develop, state that Ahmed had been involved in some relationship with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

To our knowledge, the report published by the joint congressional inquiry did not refer to Lt. Gen. Ahmed at all. In the Gold interview, Graham may have been referring to findings during the inquiry that were not included in the final report.

Based on the uncertainty about whether nominal “partners” of the U.S. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) helped support the 9/11 hijackers, wouldn’t it make sense for a major news organization to renew their investigations into the subject?

Money Jihad’s understanding of the flow of dollars to the 9/11 hijackers based on official, public sources is documented in this post and diagram here.

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The 13 sitting senators who used to support disclosure of Saudi funding of 9/11 hijackers

January 18, 2015

Saudi Arabia provided some financial and logistical support to the 9/11 hijackers through interlocutors in San Diego and Sarasota prior to the attacks of 2001. Congress released a report in 2002 about intelligence failures and investigative shortcomings before and after the attacks. A 28 page classified portion of that report dealt with the Saudi role. In 2003, 46 senators signed a letter urging Bush to declassify that section. Thirteen of those senators are still in office, but they have been virtually silent on the subject of declassification since Obama’s inauguration. They are:

  • Harry Reid (D-NV), minority leader
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Other signatories of the letter included Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and John Kerry. They should all publicly reaffirm their support for transparency on this subject. A bipartisan bill in the House currently has more than 20 co-sponsors for declassification of the 28 pages.

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Al-Bayoumi’s aid to 9/11 hijackers revisited

September 22, 2014

To recap published evidence on whether money from Saudi officials was given to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, the 9/11 Commission reported that Omar al-Bayoumi (a Saudi intelligence agent) helped al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar get established upon their arrival in San Diego, to include a one-time transfer of $9,900 that was reportedly refunded immediately. However, Congress’s joint inquiry into 9/11 found that an alternate assessment of bank records by the FBI found no evidence of a refund to al-Bayoumi. Some FBI agents believed that al-Bayoumi continued paying al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar’s rent, but the 9/11 Commission contradicts them. In either case, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham has indicated that al-Bayoumi played a broader role in the facilitation of al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar’s activities in San Diego than official published reports revealed.

Quotations from each source follow:

The 9/11 Commission Report:

We thus do not know when or how Hazmi and Mihdhar first came to San Diego. We do know that on February 4 [2000], they went to the Islamic Center of San Diego to find Omar al Bayoumi and take him up on his offer of help. Bayoumi obliged by not only locating an apartment but also helping them fill out the lease application, co-signing the lease and, when the real estate agent refused to take cash for a deposit, helping them open a bank account (which they did with a $9,900 deposit); he then provided a certified check from his own account for which the al Qaeda operatives reimbursed him on the spot for the deposit.

Congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001:

However, another FBI document appears to reach a different conclusion: ‘a review of Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi’s bank records indicate [sic] there is no bank documentation that supports the reimbursement of [the rent money], or any monies to Omar al-Bayoumi from al-Hazmi or al-Midhar.’

The 9/11 Commission Monograph on Terrorist Financing:

A number of internal FBI documents state without reservation that Bayoumi paid rent on behalf of Mihdhar and Hazmi, a claim reflecting the initial view of some FBI agents. More thorough investigation, however, has determined that Bayoumi did not pay rent or provide any funding to the hijackers.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham:

In San Diego, there was a man [Omar al-Bayoumi] and a circle of his friends. The man was described by the FBI as being a Saudi agent. His purpose in San Diego was to monitor Saudi students to assure that they weren’t plotting to overthrow the monarchy. But in January of 2000 he got a second assignment which was to provide protection for two Saudis [Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar] who had just entered the country. He was encouraged to invite them to come to San Diego—they did. He provided them money, a place to live, flight lessons, and an infrastructure of Muslims in San Diego to give them protection and anonymity. These two individuals were on the plane that flew into the Pentagon.

The official story is that al-Bayoumi could never be prosecuted for providing material support to terrorism since the evidence of giving money to the 9/11 hijackers is unclear, and he allegedly had no knowledge of what they would use the money for. However, the material support clause of 18 US Code § 2339 includes more types of support than just money, and paying somebody’s first month rent and security deposit, in a scenario where a landlord would otherwise not have offered a lease, could qualify as support, regardless of whether or not he was refunded. Whether al-Bayoumi knew what the San Diego-based hijackers were planning is a different question, but he was not thoroughly questioned by law enforcement.

As Money Jihad has noted, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar seemed to have received disproportionately less financial assistance from Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and his financial intermediary Ali Abdul Aziz Ali than other 9/11 hijackers, even though they lived in the U.S. for a longer period of time and presumably had higher total living expenses. A full accounting of their potential alternate sources of income has never been made available.

In light of the somewhat conflicting accounts of the scope of al-Bayoumi’s interactions with al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar, it would be appropriate to declassify the 28-page section of Congress’s joint inquiry into 9/11 that dealt with this subject to clear the air.

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9/11 hijackers funding: names and numbers

September 11, 2014

Follow the money

If you follow the money, the men in the middle of the disbursing of funds to the 9/11 hijackers were United Airlines Flight 175 hijacker-pilot Marwan al-Shehhi and a UAE-based computer specialist Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (Ali), who ultimately received the money from his uncle, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (KSM).

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Al Qaeda was able to raise about $30 million a year, mostly from zakat and sadaqa from wealthy Arab donors and other supportive Muslims around the world. The money was funneled through Islamic charities—often charitable foundations backed directly by the Saudi government—and through hawala, the traditional Islamic system of transferring money without physically having to transfer cash. The same methods continue being used to fund Al Qaeda and its offshoots today.

Of that $30 million, $10-$20 million was estimated by the 9/11 Commission to have been given annually to the Taliban. The remaining money was used for wages, training, planning, and operations like 9/11, which is estimated to have cost $400,000 to half a million dollars to carry out.

KSM gave about $300,000 of that sum to the hijackers for their travel to and inside the U.S., living expenses, and flight lessons. He sometimes handed out cash to operatives during face-to-face meetings but he relied on intermediaries—most significantly Ali—for international transactions once the U.S. sleeper cells had been established. In addition to being KSM’s nephew, Ali is the cousin of 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, and the husband of terror maven Aafia Siddiqui. He currently resides in Guantanamo Bay.

In what amounted to the largest series of transactions in the entire run-up to 9/11, Ali sent at least $110,000 to al-Shehhi for use by him, Muhammad Atta, and presumably for the expenses of the other Florida-based hijackers—several of whose leaders had been a part of Atta’s prior Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Campaign renewed to declassify Saudi Arabia’s financing of 9/11

September 2, 2014

The intelligence committees of the U.S. House and Senate released an 800-page report in 2002 entitled, “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” The inquiry identified failures by the U.S. intelligence community to connect dots of relevant information available to them before 9/11.

The original report was classified top secret; the declassified version includes some redactions of names and methods scattered throughout the report.

The report is divided into four main parts: 1) overall findings and conclusions, 2) a narrative about the 9/11 attacks, 3) special topics about the attacks, and 4) “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” It is Part Four that was redacted for the declassified version—that section constitutes the now infamous “28 pages” which has never been revealed to the public (corresponding to pages 416 to 443 in the original, top secret report; pages 396 to 422 in the declassified print version; and pages 428 to 454 in the PDF versions available online).

The first page of Part Four is un-redacted, and states, “Through its investigation, the Joint Inquiry developed information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”

In 2003, the New York Times reported that people who read the 28-page section of the top secret version said it indicated that two probable Saudi spies had links with 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. One of the likely spies, Omar al-Bayoumi, may have received money as a “ghost employee” of a Saudi civil aviation contractor from an unnamed Saudi official to disperse to al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi in San Diego in 2000.

Providing further details, KPBS San Diego’s investigative reporter Amita Sharma reported on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 that, “Before al-Bayoumi helped the hijackers, he received $465 per month from the Saudi contractor. After he helped them, he received $3,700 a month. I spoke with [former] Florida senator Bob Graham who co-chaired the congressional inquiry into 9/11, and here’s what he thought about the jump in pay to al-Bayoumi:  ‘The interpretation that we gave to it was that Bayoumi was a conduit of financing for the two hijackers while they were in San Diego.'”

Characterizing the 28 pages publicly, Graham later said, “that was the chapter that largely dealt with the financing of 9/11. Who paid for these very complex and in many instances expensive activities that were the predicate for 9/11?”

The formatting of the published report, which uses strike-throughs in place of the original classified text, indicates that Part Four includes bullet point findings, narrative paragraphs, and block quotes from FBI and CIA reports and testimony before the joint committee.

The final paragraph of Part Four is also un-redacted. There we learn that FBI director Robert Mueller testified before the joint committee that findings about foreign support for the hijackers while in the U.S. “would not have come to light had the [Congress’s] staff not probed” into the subject.

In 2003, 46 senators (including Democrats Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Republican Sam Brownback) supported declassification of the 28 pages in a letter to Pres. Bush. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Pres. Obama told 9/11 victims’ families in 2009 and 2011 that he would declassify the section. Currently, 10 members of Congress (seven Republicans and three Democrats) are co-sponsoring House Resolution 428, which would call upon the President to declassify the redacted pages.

A renewed effort is being supported by former presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul (hat tip @TheNewSpy) to pass HR 428. The website 28pages.org is pushing a social media campaign to declassify the details about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks. The conservative website Redstate.com and the editorial board of the liberal Miami Herald have also recently endorsed declassification.

Money Jihad predicted in January that declassification could take place this year.

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The money man behind Ramzi Yousef’s terror

January 6, 2014

Looking back at the financing the Bojinka plot

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing killed six people—a disappointment in the perspective of bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef.  He sought something grander and more devastating, but to pull it off he’d need more money.

The 2006 television miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” (one of the best films ever depicting terror finance methods) dramatized this historical development by showing Yousef meeting with his uncle and future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.  In the scene below, KSM says he may be able to obtain financing for Yousef’s next attack—a cluster of onboard airplane explosions that would become known as the “Bojinka plot”— with help from “a wealthy Saudi,” Osama bin Laden.

Bojinka was foiled after the night of Jan. 6, 1995, when a chemical fire in Yousef’s apartment bomb lab 19 years ago today caught the attention of Philippine authorities.  But the audacity of the plan, the financial commitment of Osama bin Laden, and the logistical involvement of KSM remained as elements that would evolve into the 9/11 attack itself.