Former Sen. Bob Graham and others are urging the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of a report that holds 9/11 secrets
In 10 days, President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia at a time of deep mistrust between the two allies, and lingering doubts about the Saudi commitment to fighting violent Islamic extremism. Saudi Arabia.
Obama claims Saudi Arabia to be part of the coalition against ISIS. However, Saudi Arabia, through its Wahhabi brand of Islam and financial support, is a backer of ISIS, along with other Arabian emirates.
Obama must be aware of this, so why is he visiting Saudi Arabia?
Obama’s visit also comes at a time when the White House and intelligence officials are reviewing whether to declassify one of the country’s most sensitive documents —known as the “28 pages.” They have to do with 9/11 and the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers while they were in the U.S.
For 13 long years, the 28 pages have been locked away in a secret vault. Only a small group of people have ever seen them.
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham has been trying to get the 28 pages released since the day they were classified back in 2003, when he played a major role in the first government investigation into 9/11, stating, “I remain deeply disturbed by the amount of material that has been censored from this report. I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education—could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States.”
Bob Graham won’t discuss the classified information in the 28 pages, he will say only that they outline a network of people that he believes supported the hijackers while they were in the U.S. He believes that the support for 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia, both from the Saudi government and from wealthy Saudis.
Graham and others believe the Saudi role has been soft-pedaled to protect a delicate relationship with a complicated kingdom where the rulers, royalty, riches and religion are all deeply intertwined in its institutions—and bribes to the right people.
Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman and U.S. ambassador to India, has read the 28 pages multiple times. First as a member of the Joint Inquiry and later as a member of the blue-ribbon 9/11 Commission which picked up where Congress’ investigation left off.
Roemer and others who have actually read the 28 pages, describe them as a working draft similar to a grand jury or police report that includes provocative evidence — some verified, and some not. They lay out the possibility of official Saudi assistance for two of the hijackers who settled in Southern California. That information from the 28-pages was turned over to the 9/11 Commission for further investigation. Some of the questions raised were answered in the commission’s final report. Others were not.
In January of 2000, the first of the hijackers landed in Los Angeles after attending an al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The two Saudi nationals, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, arrived with extremely limited language skills and no experience with Western culture. Yet, through an incredible series of circumstances, they managed to get everything they needed, from housing to flight lessons.
During their first days in L.A., witnesses place the two future hijackers at the King Fahd mosque in the company of Fahad al-Thumairy, a diplomat at the Saudi consulate known to hold extremist views. Later, 9/11 investigators would find him deceptive and suspicious and in 2003, he would be denied reentry to the United States for having suspected ties to terrorist activity.
Phone records show that Thumairy was also in regular contact with this man: Omar al-Bayoumi, a mysterious Saudi who became the hijackers biggest benefactor. He was a ghost employee with a no-show job at a Saudi aviation contractor outside Los Angeles while drawing a paycheck from the Saudi government.
On the morning of February 1, 2000, Bayoumi went to the office of the Saudi consulate where Thumairy worked. He then proceeded to have lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant on Venice Boulevard where he later claimed he just happened to make the acquaintance of the two future hijackers.
In San Diego, Bayoumi found them a place to live in his own apartment complex, advanced them the security deposit and cosigned the lease. He even threw them a party and introduced them to other Muslims who would help the hijackers obtain government IDs and enroll in English classes and flight schools.
The very day Bayoumi welcomed the hijackers to San Diego, there were four calls between his cell phone and the imam at San Diego mosque, Anwar al-Awlaki, a name that should sound familiar. The mosque, Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami, is a Sunni mosque in San Diego, California, on 7173 Saranac Street.
The American-born Awlaki would be infamous a decade later as al Qaeda’s chief propagandist and top operative in Yemen until he was taken out by a CIA drone. But in January 2001, a year after becoming the hijackers’ spiritual adviser, he left San Diego for Falls Church, Virginia. Months later Hazmi, Mihdhar and three more hijackers would join him there.
On September 30, 2011, in Yemen, al-Awlaki was killed by two Predator drones based at a secret CIA base in Saudi Arabia, which fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle in which he was riding.
Wahhabism is one of the kingdom’s biggest exports. Saudi clerics, entrusted with Islam’s holiest shrines have immense power and billions of dollars to spread the faith. Building mosques and religious schools all over the world that have become recruiting grounds for violent extremists. 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman says all of this comes across in the 28 pages.
The following link is to “28 Pages” which aired on April 10, 2016. Click here!