Why were Saudis “bulletproof” even AFTER the 9/11 Attack?

The first hugely shocking revelation in the 28-page secret chapter of the Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee Inquiry into the 9/11 attack occurs less than half-way down the very first page, and raises the chief question arising out of the release.

The story of the 9/11 attack is a story of Saudis in Florida.  But the until-now classified pages report show that fully one year after the attack the CIA and FBI remained inexplicably uncomfortable with the essential fact of any real 9/11 investigation: that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. 


“This gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is unacceptable” 


As the report states, the “gap” in U.S. intelligence is unacceptable. But it is also—and more importantly—inexplicable.  

newcorruptionThe big question is not whether the pages “prove” or “disprove” Saudi government involvement in the 9/11 attack, but what —absent massive bribery—explains what made the Saudis “bulletproof” from investigation for so long, even after the attack?

The Joint Intelligence Committee, which fielded precisely zero investigators of their own, was easily able to discern—just by reading documents submitted by the two agencies —that the terrorist hijackers were in regular touch with representatives from the Saudi Government while they were in the U.S.

Why was the U.S. Intelligence Community—funded more fulsomely than any endeavor in human history—unable or unwilling to inform the American people of this fact?


But first: credit where credit is due

empty hallAfter a 13-year wait, the longed-for release of the 28 pages occurred in Washington D.C. on a Friday afternoon, during the middle of summer, in an election year, when a bowling ball rolled through the halls of the Capital stands little chance of hitting anyone.

Moreover the release was sandwiched between a major terrorist attack in France, and a military coup in Turkey. It was breaking news for all of 15 minutes.

Communist honcho Vladimir Lenin once said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” But this was ridiculous.

Even before setting eyes on the forbidden pages, what was awesomely obvious was an efficient public relations juggernaut’s ability  to successfully obscure, disguise, mask, bury, and keep secret pretty much whatever—no matter how long the build-up—it prefers not become widely known.

PsyOpsAnd while there presumably remain many equally-explosive revelations about 9/11 still out there, it is this fact—more than any other—which the government of the United States has been at pains to suppress, misrepresent, misstate, conceal and keep under wraps.  

The question is why?  What gave the Saudis so much juice? While the answer may seem obvious to the more cynical among us, what’s really important is the question is not even being asked. 

It’s amazing how much of the information in the just-released secret 28 pages I published in several stories fully ten years ago. 


“Not our job, boss”

01WEB_Graham041216_750x525_17034347_8colBefore Americans get their hopes up that Senator Bob Graham’s Joint Intelligence Committee was the bright shining  knight the American people have long been waiting for, their report makes a point of immediately going on to disclaim any ambition or interest in ferreting out any evidence the FBI or the CIA hasn’t laid before them.


Why might this be?


Bob Graham’s big secret: Mum’s the word on “Muppet”

shaikhs%20home21Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the congressional inquiry who pushed hard for the last chapter of the inquiry’s report to be released, deserves credit for his forthright statements that the hijackers had an extensive Saudi support system while they were in the United States.

But Graham’s “lay it all out attitude” doesn’t extend far beyond that. Take his silence on “Muppet,” the code name for Dr. Abdussattar Shaikh, whom Graham himself once called “the “best chance to uncover the Sept. 11 plot before it happened.”

Yet there is only one reference to “Muppet” in the secret 28 pages.



Of the people who had contact with the hijackers in San Diego, no one was closer to them than Abdussattar Shaikh.History Commons said about Shaikh: “Despite much scrutiny after 9/11, little information will emerge on Shaikh’s background or why he came to the FBI’s notice.”

In newspaper reports, he was described as “a gregarious retired educator who has lived for years in San Diego.”  He was identified in wire reports as “a retired professor of English at San Diego State,” and “Vice President for International Projects at American Commonwealth University.”


Any guess about why none of this was ever reported? 

1attaYet a brief trip to San Diego was all it took to discover that Shaikh was nothing of the kind. Every single detail in the biography of Abdussattar Shaikh was a lie.  He never taught at San Diego State; has never been a Professor of English anywhere.

He has a phony PhD purchased from a bogus diploma mill run by people with U.S. military and intelligence connections; and the “University” where he was supposed to be “Vice President or International Projects” does not, in fact, exist.

usiu_logo2Also his real name is not Abdussattar Shaikh but  “Abdussattar Chhipa.” Or, as the FBI apparently called him, “Muppet. Muppet was a paid informant in counter-terrorism—of all things—before 9/11, although he supposedly never told his FBI handlers in San Diego of the two terrorist he was harboring in his home.

Much later, while Graham,  after retiring from the Senate, was in Sarasota flogging his fictional book about the 9/11 attack , I confronted him with what I’d learned about Muppet. I thought he’d be grateful for the knowledge. He had, after all, attempted to subpoena Muppet to appear before the 9/11 Committee, but the FBI had refused to deliver it to him.

poseEarlier, author Anthony Summers, who was then in my debt  because i’d spent a month showing him around Venice and introducing him to original sources which he somehow completely failed to mention a word about in his book “The Eleventh Day,” solemnly promised to convey to Graham what I’d discovered about Shaik when they met.

Yet in person Graham denied knowing anything about the information I’d learned about Shaikh, which made either him or Anthony Summers a more accomplished liar than one usually encounters.

“Bought off is bought off. Don’t say it can’t happen here.”


QUESTION: If the Saudis could buy off the Jordanians, who else might they be able to successfully bribe?

ANSWER: See my next story on the 28-page report MONDAY.


Daniel Hopsicker

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

7 Responses

  1. MSimon says:

    Well. Isn’t that interesting. My post did not post.

  2. adam says:

    I hear rumours about HW Bush working closer with the Saudis when he was CIA chief. That BCCI had invested in Harken Energy. That W was Saudis candidate for the White House, that W used the Saudi’s Muslim Brotherhood vote to win the 2000 election, especially in Florida with Sami al Arian. That Khashoggi involved in helping somehow. That Bush protected the Saudis. That Bush smoked cigars with Bandar on the White House balcony 2 days after 9/11.

    All of these are rumours obviously.

  3. Terry says:

    Small snippet I can add on Chhipa.

    Per Hopsicker :
    “At one time both ‘schools’ cited in Shaikh’s resume—American Commonwealth and United States International University—had been run by Dr. Richard Crews, an M.D. from Harvard, whose pedigree includes stints as Chief of Psychiatry at Womack military hospital and “‘hief of Mental Hygiene Consultation Services’ at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of America’s Special Forces.”

    Seems his “PhD” is listed at ProQuest too, and for the same “American Commonwealth and United States International University”:
    by CHHIPA, ABDUSSATTAR U., United States International University, 1974, 118 pages; 7420509”

  4. Willy says:

    People have compared this to the Kennedy assisination but it is so much worse. 3000 lives were taken and Bush let the killers walk away and attacked Iraq instead. That this truth remains unacknowledged, even under Obama, is proof that the democracy we participate in is a sham. I knew Bush would never come clean but why is Obama protecting them? If the petrodollar falls, so be it. This “too big to fail” notion is sick. Too big to exist is more like it. Humans are too fragile to hold this much power. The Saudis view the rest of humanity as insects, or crops to be harvested whenever it suits their needs.

  5. The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed controversial legislation that would allow the families of September h victims to sue Saudi Arabia — one of America s regional allies — if they are found to be responsible for helping support the terror attacks.

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