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Clumsy Coverup of Saudi Role in 9/11 by FBI ‘Review Commission’

March 29, 2015 (EIRNS)—Under the guise of a Congressionally mandated review of its post-9/11 performance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has just issued a report which shamelessly protects the Saudis for their role in sponsoring and supporting the 9/11 terrorist attacks, while trashing the FBI’s own reports which had identified Saudi ties to the 9/11 hijackers.

In early 2014, pursuant to a Congressional mandate, the FBI create a commission to review progress made by the Bureau in implementing the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. The Commission was also mandated to provide "An assessment of any evidence not known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission related to any factors that contributed in any manner to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

In the original 2011 legislation to create the commission, it was to be empowered to hold hearings, issue and enforce subpoenas, and compel the appearance of witnesses. However, the Review Commission seems to have done none of this, relying solely on voluntary cooperation by the FBI, which provided scripted briefings to the commission, as well as making certain of its own personnel available for interviews.

The Review Commission did not interview the two key people involved in the San Diego investigation and the compiling and writing of the 28 pages: Department of Justice attorney Dana Leseman and FBI investigator Mike Jacobson. Nor did they interview former Senator Bob Graham, the co-chair of the Senate and House Congressional Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.

Not surprisingly, the 128-page Review Commission report contains only eight pages on evidence not considered, and only about two pages each to the reported Saudi ties to hijackers in San Diego and Sarasota. And even less of a surprise, the Review Commission concludes that there is no evidence to support either of these claims — as shown below.

Fortunately, there are other avenues to unravel the coverup, even if Obama and others continue to suppress the 28 pages. These are (1) the 9/11 families’ litigation in New York, where the Saudis have been reinstated as defendants, and discovery is being pursued on the San Diego Saudi support network, including Saudi agent Omar Bayoumi (see EIR, Oct. 3, 2014); and (2) the FOIA litigation in Florida, where a federal judge is reviewing 80,000 pages of FBI investigative files including those involving the Saudi family in Sarasota, documented to have been in contact with a number of the 9/11 pilots and hijackers.

SAN DIEGO: The Review Commission first simply reports, at face value, the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions (which were dictated by the Bush-Cheney agent-in-place, the 9/11 Commission’s Executive Director Philip Zelikow), that the Commission found no evidence that Saudi "diplomat" Fahad al Thumairy had provided any assistance to future hijackers al-Midhar and al-Hazmi, and that al-Bayoumi "was an unlikely candidate for clandestine involvement with Islamist extremists." The Review Commission does not indicate that it conducted any independent investigation of the San Diego network, beyond interviews of FBI personnel. Interestingly, the Review Commission does note that there is "ongoing internal debate within the FBI between the original PENTTBOM team and the subfile team regarding the potential significance of some of this information" — referring to the original, overall investigation, and "subfile" teams working on specific aspects of the 9/11 investigation.

SARASOTA: As the Miami Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune have pointed out, the FBI denounced its own field agent’s report from April 2002 which stated that there were "many connections" between the 9/11 hijackers and a wealthy Saudi family which fled from their Sarasota, Florida, home shortly before Sept. 11, 2001. "The FBI told the Review Commission that the FBI (report) on which the news article was based was ‘poorly written’ and wholly unsubstantiated," according to the Review Commission report. "When questioned later by others in the FBI, the special agent who wrote the (report) was unable to provide any basis for the contents of the document or explain why he wrote it as he did."

However, the Florida Bulldog and the Miami Herald point out that the information in that FBI report "was corroborated by a counterterrorism officer’s detailed account regarding what the FBI found during its investigation" of the Saudi family.

"The report raises more questions about Sarasota than it answers," said Thomas Julin, the attorney for the Florida Bulldog. "The report provides no plausible explanation for the contradiction between the FBI’s current claim that it found nothing and its 2002 memo finding ‘many connections’ between the Sarasota family and the 9/11 terrorists.... The report raises new concerns that the FBI is concealing Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks."