Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham is calling for the release of 28 classified pages of the 9-11 report which link the Saudi Royal Family to the hijackers.
Here’s an excerpt from an an article Senator Graham wrote on Huffington Post, calling for the president to re-open the 9-11 investigation:
The passage of time since September 11, 2001, has not diminished the distrust many of us feel surrounding the official story of how 9-11 happened and, more specifically, who financed and supported it.
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Did the hijackers execute the plot alone, or did they have the support of forces other than the known leaders of al-Qaeda — a network even — that provided funds, assistance, and cover?
It is not merely a question of the need to complete the historical record. It is a matter of national security today.
If a support network was available to the terrorists before 9-11, why should we think it has now disbanded or been rolled up?
It may still be in place, capable of supporting al-Qaeda or other extremist groups that hate America — of which there are many.
This is also about justice. Thousands of Americans, who suffered unimaginable loss, have been denied their day in court in part because evidence of support was either never gathered by law enforcement or remains locked away, sealed as “Classified.”
From the outset of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, it seemed implausible that the hijackers — most of whom spoke no English and had never been to the U.S. — could have executed the heinous plot on their own. The inquiry proved those suspicions justified, and a 28-page chapter in its report centered on sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States. That chapter remains censored, denied to the American people.
Sadly, those 28 pages represent only a fraction of the evidence of Saudi complicity that our government continues to shield from the public, under a flawed classification program which appears to be part of a systematic effort to protect Saudi Arabia from any real accountability for its actions. For example, after a nearly eight year delay, the CIA recently responded to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted on behalf of the 9-11 families in 2004, for reports and documents cited in the notes of the 9-11 Commission’s Final Report. Unfortunately, when it came to documents such as a 16-page CIA report titled “Saudi Based Financial Support for Terrorist Organizations,” our own government redacted every word of substantive text.
Despite the carefully orchestrated campaign to protect our Saudi “friends,” ample evidence of Saudi Arabia’s intimate ties to al-Qaeda and the 9-11 attacks has come to light. The executive director of the 9-11 Commission, Dr. Philip Zelikow, stated in 2007 that while at that time he did not feel the evidence established “Saudi government agents,” were involved “there is persuasive evidence of a possible support network…”
The information indicating there were networks, foreign sources of support within the United States other than al-Qaeda, and that those networks had the backing of Saudi Arabia, is today stronger than ever.
Often over the FBI’s objections, the Congressional Joint Inquiry uncovered a good deal about a support network in San Diego, California. There, a man named Omar al-Bayoumi, whom the FBI had identified as a Saudi agent even before 9-11, provided direct assistance to future hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. Those two Saudi citizens, who came to the U.S. only ten days after attending a terrorist summit, were the vanguard of the operation on U.S. territory. Bayoumi, a “ghost employee,” was paid by a Saudi company but not expected to report for work. The company’s monthly non-salary payments to him increased eight-fold after the two hijackers arrived in San Diego. He and his family left the country seven weeks before 9-11.
The FBI withheld from the Congressional Inquiry, and from the subsequent 9-11 Commission, the fact that it had investigated another potential support pod for the hijackers in Sarasota, Florida.
In the Sarasota case, law enforcement officials suspected that several hijackers, including their leader Mohamed Atta, repeatedly visited the home of a Saudi couple in a suburban gated community. Their visits, sources who were involved at the time say, were on record — the license plates of vehicles they used to enter the community had been automatically photographed. The Saudi couple abruptly left their posh home, bound for Saudi Arabia, about two weeks before 9-11. The husband and his father-in-law were apparently on a watch list at the FBI and a U.S. agency involved in tracking terrorist funds was interested in both men even before 9-11.
When the Sarasota case erupted in September of 2011, the FBI issued two public statements, each of which declared there had been a full investigation of the alleged relationship between hijackers and persons in Sarasota; that investigation determined there was no such relationship; and that the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the 9-11 Commission had been informed.
Through personal knowledge, interviews and files which were made available it was found that these public statements were untrue.
What the Joint Inquiry learned — and has emerged since — shows where the proverbial finger of suspicion points. It points to Saudi Arabia, and we need to know the full truth.
Bob Graham is a former U.S. Senator from Florida, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-Chair of the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9-11. He is the author of two books on 9-11. Sharon Premoli, a survivor of the attack on the North Tower of the World Trade Center, now runs the website Justiceagainstterrorism.net.
To join Senator Graham’s crusade to declassify the 28 pages on foreign government ties to 9-11, go here: http://28pages.org/