Nephew of Saudi FAA Chief Funded 9.11 hijacker in San Diego

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Due to the fact the United States government has failed to convict — or even prosecute — a single person for any crime relating to the 9/11 plot, one might assume that these terrorists lived in self-contained bubbles. They did not. Rather they lived at places like the home of a veteran FBI confidential informant who specialized in counter-terrorism and whose FBI handler was investigating the 9/11 hijackers.

Hmmm…

And shockingly it would seem, the public has already been made privy to this damning information by such insiders as Sen. Bob Graham.

 

But how much can you trust the former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the life-long friend of Porter Goss to tell give you the real deal?

As expected, Bobby only mentioned 10% of the horror. Read on for the remainder.

1sThe San Diego Union-Tribune:

Shaikh, a retired educator and Muslim leader, invited them [the hijackers, al-Hazmi and al-Midhar] to share his five-bedroom Lemon Grove house…

Newsweek:

Shaikh also happens to be a "tested" undercover "asset" who had been working closely with the FBI office in San Diego on terrorism cases.

Institute for Public Affairs, September 29, 2003:

Abdussattar Shaikh… was a long-time undercover FBI counterterrorism informant in regular contact with… the bureau's San Diego office.

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

During the post 9-11 investigation “the FBI concedes that the hijackers may have known the informant [Shaikh] months earlier than the informant admitted.”

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

The informant also acknowledged that al-Hazmi had contacts with at least four individuals the informant knew were of interest to the FBI and about whom the informant had previously reported to the FBI.

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

The informant has made numerous inconsistent statements to the FBI during the course of interviews after September 11, 2001… the FBI has acknowledged that there are 'significant inconsistencies' in the informant’s statements about these contacts.

San Jose Mercury News September 29, 2001:

Next door neighbor [of Shaikh] Deborah Fortner said she is sure that Atta visited Shaikh's home during the time the two suspected hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar lived there… "He definitely was here," said Fortner, pointing to Atta's picture, which appeared along with the other 18 suspected hijackers in Friday's San Diego Union-Tribune. "His eyes  you cannot mistake them."

Two other neighbors of Shaikh, who lives on a cul-de-sac in suburban Lemon Grove, also said Friday that they told the FBI nearly two weeks ago that they recognized Atta as having visited Shaik's home.

Dennis and Marna Adair said they didn't know Atta's name and had not yet seen his photo in news accounts when they first picked him out from the photographs shown to them by FBI agents who interviewed Shaikh and his neighbors repeatedly in the days immediately after the terrorist attacks.

"It was a week ago last Monday [Sept 17, 2001]," said Marna Adair. When agents showed her several pictures, she said, "I told them, 'That one definitely,' " she said pointing to Atta's photo…

neighbors… said they saw him [Atta] often enough that they would exchange greetings. And they recalled that he was friendly and more outgoing than many of the Muslim men who stayed with Shaikh.

The houses of Shaikh, Fortner and the Adairs are clustered close together around a small private drive that extends off a residential street in the working-class suburb of Lemon Grove.

Fortner and the Adairs said they have spoken repeatedly with FBI agents in the last three weeks about their recollections…

In explaining why they went public, the neighbors also said they have been frustrated with Shaikh and what they perceive as his unwillingness to be more forthcoming with them and the media.

 

911 Commission Report Notes:

Although Hazmi's housemate [Shaikh] claims that the “Hani” whom Hazmi introduced him [on Dec 8, 2000] to is not the same person pictured in Hanjour's photograph, we have little doubt that the housemate did in fact see Hanjour on the day he and Hazmi left San Diego.

 

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

Administration and the FBI have objected to the [Congressional] Joint Inquiry’s request to interview the informant… Known information relies solely on FBI documents.

The Washington Post:

[In Shaihk’s case] the FBI has deviated from its typical secrecy to issue a statement that he is not a suspect.

SD Union Tribune:

[Senator] Graham [head of the Senate Intelligence Committee] also discusses at length the congressional investigators' unsuccessful attempts to question the FBI informant, identified as Abdussattar Shaikh, a retired professor and community leader from Lemon Grove.

FBI officials would not deliver a congressional subpoena to Shaikh… The FBI also failed to give Shaikh, whom Graham said had been relocated by the FBI, a list of written questions from the investigators until he had hired a prominent attorney with ties to the Justice Department. The attorney demanded immunity from prosecution for Shaikh, which the congressional intelligence committees refused to grant, so the questions went unanswered.

FBI Agent Steven Butler

butlernew1Institute for Public Affairs, September 29, 2003:  

Abdussattar Shaikh… was… in regular contact with a terrorism case officer in the bureau's San Diego office.

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

He [Shaikh] said he met FBI Agent Steve Butler – whom sources have identified as Shaikh's "handler" – about eight years ago.

The New York Times:

Several officials said the F.B.I… would not authorize the agent who was his contact to testify…

U.S. News & World Report December 9, 2002:

Government officials told U.S. News that Butler disclosed that he had been monitoring a flow of Saudi Arabian money that wound up in the hands of two of the 9/11 hijackers. The two men had rented a room from a man Butler had used as a confidential informant, the sources say. According to officials familiar with his account, Butler said that he had alerted his superiors about the money flows but the warning went nowhere. "Butler is claiming … that people [in the FBI] didn't follow up," says a congressional source. Adds another: "He saw a pattern, a trail, and he told his supervisors, but it ended there."

Saudi Agent Omar al-Bayoumi

bayouminewNewsweek:

Almihdhar and Alhazmi later rented a room from another friend of al-Bayoumi's, Abdussattar Shaikh…

The Los Angeles Times:

Shaikh has acknowledged to the newspaper that Al Bayoumi was a friend.

The Telegraph July 22, 2003:

Bayoumi had a meeting at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles in January 2000 and then went straight to a restaurant where he met al-Mindhar and al-Hamzi, whom he accompanied back to San Diego. He later arranged for the men to move into a flat next to his home, paid their rent for the first two months and threw a welcoming party for them. Sources have said Baymoumi also helped them open a bank account and enlisted a friend to help them obtain social security cards and contact flight schools in Florida to arrange flying lessons.

 

Newsweek:

In January 2000, al-Bayoumi had a meeting at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles—and then went directly to a restaurant where he met future hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, whom he took back with him to San Diego. (Al-Bayoumi later arranged for the men to get an apartment next to his and fronted them their first two months rent.)… A 28-page section of the report dealing with the Saudis and other foreign governments will be deleted. “They are protecting a foreign government,” charged Sen. Bob Graham, who oversaw the inquiry.

 

SD Tribune:

In January 2000, al-Bayoumi had a closed-door meeting at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and then went to a restaurant where he picked up Alhazmi and Almihdhar and brought them to San Diego.

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Al-Bayoumi [is] whom federal investigators have identified as the front man who prepared the way for the hijackers in San Diego…

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Law enforcement and community sources in San Diego said money was funneled here to Al-Bayoumi from Saudi Arabian sources and used to finance the hijackers. "Al-Bayoumi came here, set everything up financially, set up the San Diego cell and set up the mosque," said a federal investigator who asked to remain anonymous to protect his job.

The Wall Street Journal:

The FBI first opened a counterterrorism investigation on Mr. Bayoumi in September 1998 and discovered he was in contact with several other people under scrutiny… Following a search of Mr. Bayoumi's residence at one point, the FBI concluded that "he is providing guidance to young Muslims and some of his writings can be interpreted as jihadist."

 Newsweek:

[A] former top FBI official who helped oversee the al-Bayoumi investigation [stated]… “We firmly believed that he had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot]”

 

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Omar al-Bayoumi now is living in Saudi Arabia. With no reason being stated, the FBI closed its investigation on him.

Knight Ridder:

Graham wrote that the staff of the congressional inquiry concluded that two Saudis in the San Diego area, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassan, who gave significant financial support to two hijackers, were working for the Saudi government.

Sun Sentinel:

But Graham said the commission's findings were based on an interview with al-Bayoumi in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Arabian officials present. “He had no motivation to speak truthfully as to his role,'' he said.

911 Commission Report Notes:

Another possible source of suspicion is his [Bayoumi’s] passport, which contains a cachet that intelligence investigators associate with possible adherence to al Qaeda. It is a marking that can be obtained by especially devout Muslims.

911 Commission Report Notes:

The rental application states that Hazmi and Mihdhar resided in Bayoumi's apartment from January 15 to February 2, 2000, but Bayoumi denies it, and we have found no reason to dispute his denial.

 

San Diego Union Tribune, September 8, 2004:

Al-Bayoumi helped the future hijackers get settled in San Diego and, [Senator] Graham said, his income from Saudi sources rose significantly during their stay in the area.

" . . . That increase came from two sources, a Saudi government contractor and a member of the Saudi royal family. From these two sources, al-Bayoumi was funneled in excess of $40,000 above his usual salary – somewhere between one-sixth and one-twelfth the estimated total amount needed to fund the September 11 attacks," Graham wrote.

Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2003:

For seven years, the finance department of a Saudi Civil Aviation Presidency project called Air Navigation Systems Support employed Mr. Bayoumi. The project is managed by Dallah Avco Aviation, a unit of the giant Dallah Al-Baraka business group, which for five of the seven years was reimbursed by the government agency for Mr. Bayoumi's salary. During the five-year period, Mr. Bayoumi was considered a Saudi civil servant.

Sept. 11 figure Omar Bayoumi is shown by documents to have been hired for an aviation project by order of the Saudi government.

The newly reviewed documents are on letterhead from Dallah Avco and Saudi government…

The ANSS project was based in Saudi Arabia, but in August 1994, Mr. Bayoumi showed up in California and began taking English classes at San Diego State University's College of Extended Studies, in its American Language Institute.

The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International 2003 Summer:

Saudi authorities… admit that Dallah Avco Aviation, a branch of the Dallah al-Baraka Group, a gigantic banking and business conglomerate, manages the Air Navigation Systems Support project on which al-Bayoumi worked. The head of the Dallah al-Baraka Group is Saleh Abdullah Kamel, whose name appears in the "Golden Chain," a roster seized by Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo in March 2002 listing Saudi donors to bin Laden and his associates. Kamel is named as a supplier of funds to Adil Abdeljalil Batterjee, founder of the Benevolence International Foundation, designated a terror-financing entity by the Treasury Department.

dallah2Federal News Service October 22, 2003:

The Golden Chain list of wealthy Saudi sponsors is an internal Al- Qaida document seized by the Bosnian police during searches in the offices of Benevolence International Foundation in Sarajevo in March 2002. Our team was granted access to this document, among others, following an order of the Supreme Court of Bosnia Herzegovina ordering the US government to release this maternal.

The Golden Chain lists the top 20 Saudi financial sponsors of AI- Qaida. It includes 6 bankers and 12 businessmen, among which there are 2 former ministers.

According to our estimates, their cumulative corporate net worth totals more than $85 billion dollars, or 42% of the Saudi annual GNP and equivalent to the annual GNP of Venezuela.

They include former leading Saudi banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz, businessman Saleh Abdullah Kamel, the Bin Laden family, and several bankers representing the three largest Saudi banks (National Commercial Bank, Riyadh Bank and Al Rajhi Bank).

al-Salmi family (Uncle Mohammed and Nephew Yazeed)

Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2003:

"When Mr. Al-Bayoumi arrived in August [1994 in San Diego], his placement tests showed that he was not ready to … enroll in SDSU courses," Linda Lawton, a college official, wrote in a Dec. 6, 1994, letter to Mohammed Ahmed al-Salmi, director general of the Presidency of Civil Aviation…  Mr. Bayoumi's work… started in June 1995… at the direction of the aviation authority…

In 1999, the records show, Dallah Avco sought to end Mr. Bayoumi's annual contracts. "The company is not willing to renew the period for another year and we wish this to be known," a Dallah official wrote to Mr. Salmi of the aviation authority. Mr. [Mohammed Ahmed] Salmi responded, in a letter marked "extremely urgent," that the government wanted Mr. Bayoumi's contract renewed "as quickly as possible."

The following year, Mr. Bayoumi's contract lapsed again and civil-service rules required him to return to Saudi Arabia to keep his job. Instead of returning, he took a two-year leave from his government-paid job, according to the records, and Dallah Avco agreed to request to hire him directly and to continue paying his salary, which the company did.

 

911 Commission Report Notes:

[Yazeed al-]Salmi arrived in San Diego on August 7, 2000, and three days later moved into the house [Shaikh’s] where Hazmi resided. Omar al Bayoumi — who reported (at least nominally) to Salmi's uncle at the Saudi Civil Aviation ministry — found this accommodation for Salmi…

911 Commission Report:

After Mihdhar left [but while Hazmi was still at Shaikh’s house in mid-2001], other students moved into the house [of Shaikh]. One of these, Yazeed al Salmi, stands out. In July 2000, Salmi purchased $4,000 in traveler's checks at a bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. On September 5, Hazmi deposited $1,900 of the traveler's checks into his bank account, after withdrawing the same amount in cash.

Washington Post:

Yazeed Al-Salmi… shared a car insurance policy with Alhazmi…

911 Commission Report:

After 9/11, Salmi reportedly confided to Mohdar Abdullah that he had previously known terrorist pilot Hani Hanjour.

salminew1911 Commission Report Notes:

For Salmi's possible link to Hanjour, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Abdullah, July 23, 2002. We made efforts with the assistance of the FBI to interview Salmi, but without success. The FBI interviewed Salmi on its own in June 2004 but failed to ask about his reported childhood ties to Hanjour. FBI report of investigation interview of Yazeed al Salmi, June 14, 2004.

911 Commission Report Notes:

Prior to September 11, both he and Yazeed al Salmi suddenly became intent on proceeding with their planned marriages. One witness quotes Salmi as commenting after the 9/11 attacks,"I knew they were going to do something, that is why I got married."

 

Sam’s Star Mart (Texaco Station) Business Owner & Manager

911 Commission Report Notes:

The owner of the gas station, Osama Mustafa, and the manager of the station, Iyad Kreiwesh, have both been the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.

 

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

The business owner [Mustafa], a Palestinian by birth and a U.S. citizen, owns a number of businesses in the San Diego area, including the business where al-Hazmi worked for several weeks. A number of the hijackers’ associates, including [classified] and [classified], also worked at this business [Texaco station]. FBI records show that both al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi spent time socializing at the business.

Before September 11, the business owner was in contact with an individual who told the FBI after September 11 that he was al-Hazmi’s best friend and that the individual had contact with an FBI informant [Shaikh] who also had contacts with the hijackers.

The FBI also learned that the business owner had been associating with other persons with possible ties to the hijackers, including Osama Bassnan, and it received reports that the business owner cheered upon learning of the September 11 attacks.

The FBI conducted several investigations of the business owner prior to September 11. The first was opened in August 1991 upon receipt of reports from the San Diego Police Department that, during a traffic stop, he had stated that the United States needed another Pan Am 103 attack and that he could be the one to carry it out. The business owner also said that all Americans should be killed for what they did to Iraqis. During the investigation, the FBI developed information that the business owner was associated with members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a known terrorist organization, in San Diego and Chicago. In 1994, San Diego police also received an anonymous call stating that the business owner was a PFLP member. The FBI received information in 1994 that he had threatened to kill a former Israeli intelligence officer who resided in San Diego. The business owner informed the Israeli that he was a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and that the orders to kill him had come from the PLO. The FBI closed its investigation of the business owner, but reopened it in 1997 when it received information tying him to a possible terrorist plot based in North Carolina. In February 2001, a stockbroker called the FBI to say that the business owner had closed his account, explaining that he was sending the money to freedom fighters in Afghanistan. During its post-September 11 investigation, the FBI discovered that the business owner was associating with Osama Bassnan and [classified], two other possible hijacker associates in San Diego.

 

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

[In 2000, al-Hazmi briefly worked at a San Diego business. The manager of the business, told the FBI that he hired al-Hazmi after receiving a call from “mutual friends” at the Saranac Street Mosque. In January 2000, before al-Hazmi’s employment at the business, the FBI Los Angeles field office initiated a counterterrorism investigation of the business manager after a person whom the FBI was surveilling entered the business manager’s car in a mosque parking lot. That person was [ ], the brother of a known Bin Ladin operative [ ]. The business manager was under FBI investigation when he hired al-Hazmi]. [The FBI agent handling the business manager’s investigation interviewed him by phone. The business manager told the agent that he did not want to meet in person because it would be a strain to travel to Los Angeles. The business manager informed the agent that he had lived in San Diego for two and a half years and did not want to give his home address. The business manager said that he worked at the local business. The agent concluded that the business

manager did not pose a threat to national security, and the investigation was closed in December 2000].

 

Newsweek August 4, 2003, U.S. Edition

In January 2000, FBI agents tailing a suspected Qaeda operative in San Diego thought they'd gotten a break. Their target was spotted chatting with the manager of Sam's Star Mart, a local Texaco station. The agents later called the manager, hoping he would tell them about the conversation, and maybe point them toward other suspicious characters. But the man wanted nothing to do with them. "It would be a strain" to come in for an interview, he told them, and refused to give the agents his home address. Faced with a reluctant witness, the agents called it a day and dropped the matter. Looking back, maybe that wasn't the best call. Had the G-men hung in just a little longer, they might have run across one of the manager's recent hires at the Star Mart: Nawaf Alhazmi

 

911 Commission Report Notes:

Moreover, as of August 2001, Iyad Kreiwesh and other employees at the Texaco station where Hazmi had worked suddenly were anticipating attention from law enforcement authorities in the near future. Finally, according to an uncorroborated witness account, early on the morning of September 10, Abdullah, Osama Awadallah, Omar Bakarbashat, and others behaved suspiciously at the gas station. According to the witness, after the group met, Awadallah said "it is finally going to happen" as the others celebrated by giving each other high fives.

 

Mohdar Abdullah

 abdullahnewThe San Diego Union-Tribune:

Abdallah told investigators that another man, Omar Al-Bayoumi… introduced him to the three men who later became hijackers.

 

 The Los Angeles Times:

In 2001, several friends of Abdullah and the hijackers told The Times that Omar Albayoumi, another Saudi, drove the two hijackers from Los Angeles to San Diego around mid-January 2000.

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

In fact, Abdullah did drive future hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid al-Midhar to San Diego after their arrival in January 2000…

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

[Abdallah] regularly dined and prayed with three San Diego-linked hijackers and helped them obtain Social Security cards, driver's licenses, flight school information and rides from Los Angeles International Airport, according to court records… It is the first public record to detail Abdallah's relationships with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid al-Midhar… Abdallah "had provided substantial assistance to the hijackers as they acclimated themselves in the United States in planning the Sept. 11th attacks," the document said.

The [court] document [according to court records made public on May 7, 2002] also mentions for the first time a spiral notebook seized from Abdallah's car a week after the terrorist attacks. The notebook contains references to "hijacking," "mass killings" and "burning flesh falling from the sky," the document said...

"While being processed at the FBI office, defendant made several spontaneous statements, not in response to any questioning, referencing the hatred in his heart for the United States government, and that the United States brought 'this' (Sept. 11) on themselves," the document said…

The document said FBI agents who interviewed Abdallah believed he was lying to them, in part because he agreed to take the lie-detector test and then failed to show up. Abdallah was told in advance that he would be asked "if he had any participation or knowledge of any terrorist attacks or future attacks," the document said.

"The defendant continuously made body movements, or gestures that gave the interviewing agents the impression that he knew more than he was telling, and that he was concealing information.

 

SD Tribune May 8, 2002:

Abdallah… went to the United Airlines ticket counter with them [hijackers Midhar and Hazmi] once to try to exchange the return portion of their Bangkok and Malaysia [Malaysia, the location of the infamous meeting which was monitored by the CIA in Jan 2000] flight, among other things, the document said.

The Washington Post December 29, 2001:

Mohdar Abdallah… was an assistant manager at the Texaco station where Alhazmi briefly worked

911 Commission Report Notes:

Hazmi… may have telephoned his former San Diego companion, Mohdar Abdullah, in late August [2001]. Several bits of evidence indicate that others in Abdullah's circle may have received word that something big would soon happen. As noted earlier, Abdullah's behavior reportedly changed noticeably.

Omar Bakarbashat

Copley News Service May 26, 2004:

Abdullah, 26, and Bakarbashat, 31, both college students, were arrested immediately after the attacks and taken to New York to testify before a federal grand jury. They were held under the material witness statute. They eventually were returned to San Diego and charged with immigration crimes. By the time they pleaded guilty, they already had served their six-month sentences.

Bakarbashat admitted that he created phony immigration documents and a Social Security card on his computer. He said his money was gone and he needed to find a job…

Bakarbashat gave up his fight and was deported to Yemen after two years and two months in custody. Hamud said Bakarbashat spent "a couple days in a Yemeni jail" and was "subjected to interrogation by Yemeni authorities" until his parents were able to secure his release. He now lives in Saudi Arabia, [his attorney Randall] Hamud said.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle September 20, 2001:

Authorities believe that Bakarbashat may have had firsthand knowledge that a terrorist plot was brewing after spending time with at least two of the hijackers who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

"I think he knew what was going to happen," a federal source said on the condition of anonymity. "He probably didn't know when. All the people who are being arrested are potential conspirators and potential witnesses. It's at a preliminary stage. They'll decide later whether he is going to be a witness or a defendant."…

Hani Hanjour, Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhamzi were identified as three of the men who took over American Flight 77 and flew it into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. It is unclear whether Bakarbashat knew the men before they moved to California.

Bakarbashat may have roomed with two of the men and given them money, the source said. Bakarbashat was traced through financial records, the official said, and he helped the men hone their English skills and taught them how to use a computer.

 

Copley News Service September 20, 2001:

A man suspected of financially helping three San Diego-based terrorists was identified Wednesday as Omer Bakarbashat…

"He lived with (the hijackers), helped them learn English and pointed them in the right direction," said a law enforcement officer…

Sources said Bakarbashat has financial ties to the hijackers and could face other charges eventually…

The federal sources declined to give details about the financial status of Bakarbashat, who on the surface would seem to have little chance of bankrolling terrorists. The sources suggested he had connections to wealth, but would not elaborate…

 

911 Commission Report Notes:

Bakarbashat apparently had downloaded stridently anti-American Web pages to his computer's hard drive…

 

Osama Awadallah

awadallahnew4New York Law Journal November 14, 2003:

A search of the car Al-Hazmi abandoned at Dulles Airport in Virginia produced a piece of paper with the notation, "Osama 589-5316." Federal agents tracked this number to a San Diego address at which the defendant, Osama Awadallah, had lived approximately eighteen months earlier…

 

Copley News Service September 26, 2001:

Detainees Bakarbashat, Awadallah and Al-Salmi lived at the Southridge Apartments on Saranac Street in La Mesa at various times over last few years, with various roommates.

 

New York Law Journal November 14, 2003:

The search of Awadallah's home produced several computer-generated photographs of Osama bin Laden; the searches of his cars produced two videotapes on Bosnia…

 

911 Commission Report:

Moreover, as of August 2001, Iyad Kreiwesh and other employees at the Texaco station where Hazmi had worked suddenly were anticipating attention from law enforcement authorities in the near future. Finally, according to an uncorroborated witness account, early on the morning of September 10, Abdullah, Osama Awadallah, Omar Bakarbashat, and others behaved suspiciously at the gas station. According to the witness, after the group met, Awadallah said "it is finally going to happen" as the others celebrated by giving each other high fives.

 

Osama Bassnan

Newsweek December 2, 2002, U.S. Edition:

Basnan also befriended the two hijackers, Almihdhar and Alhazmi. After the terrorist attacks, Basnan, who was known as a vocal Qaeda sympathizer, "celebrated the heroes of September 11" and talked about "what a wonderful, glorious day it had been," according to a law-enforcement official.

 

Congressional Joint Inquiry into 911:

Bassnan was a close associate of al-Bayoumi,…

Bassnan also had close ties to a number of other persons connected to the hijackers…

Bassnan lived in the apartment complex in San Diego across the street from al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar…

The FBI… had been made aware of him on several occasions. In May 1992, the State Department provided the FBI with a box of documents recovered from an abandoned car. The documents were in Arabic, and one, a newsletter to supporters of the Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ) Movement, provided updates on the EIJ’s council and was marked “confidential.” The box contained letters addressed to Bassnan that discussed plans to import used cars to the United States. The FBI opened a counterterrorism inquiry on the EIJ, but, having failed to develop information that would predicate further investigation, closed the investigation in December 1992. In 1993, the FBI received reports that Bassnan had hosted a party for the “Blind Sheikh” [implicated in the 1993 WTC bombing] in Washington, D.C. in 1992. However, the FBI did not open an investigation. The Intelligence Community had information connecting Bin Ladin to the EIJ as of 1996. In addition, FBI documents note that a high-level member of the EIJ was on Bin Ladin’s Shura Council. A May 2000 FBI document indicates that FBI Headquarters personnel were not handling EIJ matters due to resource constraints. After September 11, the FBI developed information clearly indicating that Bassnan is an extremist and a Bin Ladin supporter

The FBI also learned that the business owner [Osama Mustafa] had been associating with other persons with possible ties to the hijackers, including Osama Bassnan

 

Knight Ridder Tribune  Sept. 7, 2004:

Citing CIA analyses, Graham said the two Saudis, Omar al Bayoumi and Osama Bassnan, were Saudi agents.

 

Newsweek December 2, 2002, U.S. Edition:

About two months after al-Bayoumi began aiding Alhazmi and Almihdhar, NEWSWEEK has learned, al-Bayoumi's wife began receiving regular stipends, often monthly and usually around $2,000, totaling tens of thousands of dollars. The money came in the form of cashier's checks, purchased from Washington's Riggs Bank by Princess Haifa bint Faisal, the daughter of the late King Faisal and wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi envoy who is a prominent Washington figure and personal friend of the Bush family. The checks were sent to a woman named Majeda Ibrahin Dweikat, who in turn signed over many of them to al-Bayoumi's wife (and her friend), Manal Ahmed Bagader…

Dwei-kat's husband, Osama Basnan, had first pleaded to the Saudi Embassy for help in 1998, saying that he needed money to treat his wife's thyroid condition. At the time, Prince Bandar wrote Basnan a $15,000 check. The monthly payments to his wife, Majeda, began in January 1999 and ended only last summer…

After al-Bayoumi left San Diego in July 2001, the cashier's checks purchased by Princess Haifa continued to flow to Majeda Dweikat, who in turn signed many of them over to her husband, Osama [Basnan]…

 Wife Dweikat appears to have been at least a minor scamster. She was convicted of marriage fraud to obtain immigration papers and pleaded guilty–along with al-Bayoumi's wife, Manal–to shoplifting in April 2001. The checks from Princess Haifa stopped when Basnan was arrested for visa fraud last August…

Osama Basnan showed up in Houston last April [2001] when Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah came to town with a vast entourage en route to President George W. Bush's ranch. According to informed sources, Basnan met with a high Saudi prince who has responsibilities for intelligence matters [Prince Turki al-Faisal is head of Saudi Intelligence] and is known to bring suitcases full of cash into the United States–a practice not unheard-of among the Saudi elite. A Houston police report obtained by NEWSWEEK shows that Basnan complained he had been robbed of his Saudi passport and $400. It is dated April 25, the same week the crown prince was in town.

 

United Press International September 5, 2001:

The disastrous head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal… has a dangerous soft spot for the Taliban and is seen by American and British intelligence as too close to the notorious Osama bin-Laden for comfort, let his anti-Western biases show in the way he ran the investigations into the bombing campaign against Westerners in the kingdom. The prince sought to present the bombings as a Mafia-style war between corrupt British and other Western merchants of illicit alcohol, despite considerable evidence that fundamentalists were involved, some of them with alleged connections to Prince Turki's own organization. Wiser councils have now prevailed, thanks to discreet American pressure. Prince Turki has been sacked by King Fahd, and replaced Prince Nawaf bin-Abdul Aziz.

 

BBC Worldwide Monitoring, September 4, 2001, Tuesday:

Text of report by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on 1 September

Jedda – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin-Abd-al-Aziz has issued a royal decree appointing Prince Nawwaf Bin-Abd-al-Aziz as head of the Saudi intelligence service with the rank of minister and relieving Prince Turki al-Faysal of the post at his own request.

The royal decree said that based on the presentation made by Crown Prince Abdallah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz, deputy prime minister and commander of the National Guard, Prince Turki al-Faysal has been relieved of his post at his own request, and Prince Nawwaf Bin-Abd-al-Aziz has been appointed in his place.

Prince Nawwaf Bin-Abd-al-Aziz is the third Saudi intelligence chief since the service was set up in the mid-sixties. The late Kamal Adham was the first head of intelligence, then Prince Turki al-Faysal took charge of the service in 1977. It is worth noting that Prince Nawwaf has in the past assumed the finance and national economy portfolios and also headed the Royal Court…

As for Prince Turki al-Faysal, he was born in 1947 and was appointed as head of the intelligence service on 6 September 1977 with the rank of minister.

Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.