According to a memo to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there are strong suspicions about Saudi Arabia's official link to the hijackers who carried out the attacks of September 11, 2001, but it was unable to provide the evidence that the families of the victims of the Riyadh lawsuit were waiting for.
The FBI memo was declassified on the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the administration has rotated four presidents since its occurrence, namely George Bush Jr., Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden.
The memo, which dates back to April 4, 2016, and was classified until now, showed links between Omar al-Bayoumi, who was at the time a student but was suspected of being a Saudi intelligence agent, and two al-Qaeda elements who participated in a plot to hijack and ram the four American planes with targets in New York and Washington twenty years ago. years.
Based on interviews that took place in 2009 and 2015 with a source whose identity remained confidential, the document reveals details of contacts and meetings that took place between Al-Bayoumi and the hijackers Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khaled Al-Mihdhar after their arrival in Southern California in 2000 before the attacks.
It also confirms links previously reported between the kidnappers and Fahd al-Thumairy, who was a conservative imam at the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles and an official at the Saudi Consulate in the same city.
The document indicates that the phone numbers associated with the source reveal contacts with a number of people who helped Hazmi and Mihdhar when they were in California, including Al-Bayoumi and Al-Tumairi, in addition to the same source.
It revealed that the source told the FBI that al-Bayoumi, far from his official identity as a student, had a "very high position" in the Saudi consulate. "The assistance provided by Al-Bayoumi to Al-Hazmi and Al-Mihdhar included translation, travel, accommodation and financing," the memo stated.
The document revealed that meetings, phone calls, and other forms of communication took place between al-Bayoumi and al-Tumairi on the one hand, and Anwar al-Awlaki on the other, a US-born preacher who turned into a prominent figure in al-Qaeda before he was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Despite its publication, many parts of the document were deleted and did not reveal any direct and clear link between the Saudi government and the kidnappers. It was published after Biden was pressured by family members of the assault victims who filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia accusing it of complicity.
Three successive US administrations have refused to declassify and publish documents related to the case, apparently fearing that the move could harm US-Saudi relations.
Jim Kreindler, one of the characters leading the lawsuit, pointed out that the document validates the most prominent point in the lawsuit, which is that the Saudi government helped the kidnappers.
"With the publication of the first documents, the curtain is coming down on 20 years of Saudi Arabia's reliance on the US government to cover up its role on 9/11," Kreindler said in a statement.