US protected Saudi officials involved in 9/11: Report
The United States has gone out of its way to cover up Saudi Arabia’s role in the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed about 3,000 people, according to a new report.
The New York Post said in a report on Sunday that the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of the American government.
The extent of the cover-up goes beyond hiding 28 pages of a congressional report on 9/11 which was released in 2002, the report noted.
Pointing to investigations by case agents interviewed at the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) in Washington and San Diego, along with police detectives who investigated the incident, the Post said, “Virtually every road led back to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.”
Citing its sources, the Post said the 28-page report comprises the entire final chapter of the congressional report, dealing with “foreign support for the September 11 hijackers,” and offers “incontrovertible evidence” by the CIA and the FBI that reveals official Saudi assistance for at least two of the Saudi hijackers who settled in San Diego.
So far some parts of the heavily redacted section of the report have leaked, uncovering a significant number of phone calls between the Saudi handles of a hijacker in San Diego and the Saudi embassy, as well as the transfer of some $130,000 from then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar’s family checking account to the Saudi handlers of another hijacker in San Diego.
According to one investigator who worked with the JTTF, Washington literally took Bandar under protection instead of putting him on trial.
The US State Department assigned a security detail to help guard Bandar not only at the embassy, but also at his McLean, Virginia, mansion, the investigator said.
This is while former FBI agent John Guandolo, who worked on 9/11 and other al-Qaeda related cases in Washington, believes Bandar should have been a key suspect in the 9/11 probe.
“The Saudi ambassador funded two of the 9/11 hijackers through a third party,” Guandolo said. “He should be treated as a terrorist suspect, as should other members of the Saudi elite class.”
Former FBI agent Mark Rossini also said that the White House “thwarted” requests by the FBI to interview the Saudis.
“The FBI covered their ears every time we mentioned the Saudis,” said former Fairfax County Police Lieutenant Roger Kelly, who headed the National Capital Regional Intelligence Center.
However, “the 9/11 Commission Report,” which followed the congressional inquiry only mentioned Bandar in passing, burying his name in footnotes.
Two commission lawyers have also complained that their boss, executive director Philip Zelikow, kept them from issuing subpoenas to interview Saudi suspects.
Meanwhile, Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina has accused Washington of scuttling the investigation of the foreign sponsorship of 9/11 to protect Saudi Arabia, saying “things that should have been done at the time were not done.”
He has introduced a bill demanding President Barack Obama release the 28 pages. “I’m trying to give you an answer without being too explicit.”
The Riyadh regime has warned Washington that it would sell off $750 billion of US assets if Congress passes the bill that would allow the Saudi ruling family to be held responsible in US courts for any role in the attacks.
Former US senator and governor of Florida, Bob Graham, went on air last week to say the 9/11 hijackers had “some support from within the United States” and were “substantially” backed by Saudi Arabia.
Graham was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chairman of the joint congressional commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks and wrote the full 838-page report. “I remain deeply disturbed by the amount of material that has been censored from this report,” he said on the CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
The 9/11 incident is expected to overshadow Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia on April 21.