Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11

Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11, by Paul Sperry. Explosive if true. Quoting FBI documents in court.

Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a “dry run” for the hijackings carried out by two Saudi employees, further reinforcing the claim employees and agents of the kingdom directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters.

Two years before the airliner attacks, the Saudi Embassy paid for two Saudi nationals, living undercover in the US as students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks,” alleges the amended complaint filed on behalf of the families of some 1,400 victims who died in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago.

The court filing provides new details that paint “a pattern of both financial and operational support” for the 9/11 conspiracy from official Saudi sources, lawyers for the plaintiffs say. In fact, the Saudi government may have been involved in underwriting the attacks from the earliest stages — including testing cockpit security. …

Citing FBI documents, the complaint alleges that the Saudi students — Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi — were in fact members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents in the US,” and participated in the terrorist conspiracy.

They had trained at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan at the same time some of the hijackers were there. And while living in Arizona, they had regular contacts with a Saudi hijacker pilot and a senior al Qaeda leader from Saudi now incarcerated at Gitmo. At least one tried to re-enter the US a month before the attacks as a possible muscle hijacker but was denied admission because he appeared on a terrorist watch list.

Qudhaeein and Shalawi both worked for and received money from the Saudi government, with Qudhaeein employed at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Shalawi was also “a longtime employee of the Saudi government.” The pair were in “frequent contact” with Saudi officials while in the US, according to the filings.

During a November 1999 America West flight to Washington, Qudhaeein and Shalawi are reported to have tried multiple times to gain access to the cockpit of the plane in an attempt to test flight-deck security in advance of the hijackings.

“After they boarded the plane in Phoenix, they began asking the flight attendants technical questions about the flight that the flight attendants found suspicious,” according to a summary of the FBI case files.

“When the plane was in flight, al-Qudhaeein asked where the bathroom was; one of the flight attendants pointed him to the back of the plane,” it added. “Nevertheless, al-Qudhaeein went to the front of the plane and attempted on two occasions to enter the cockpit.”

The pilots were so spooked by the Saudi passengers and their aggressive behavior that they made an emergency landing in Ohio. On the ground there, police handcuffed them and took them into custody. Though the FBI later questioned them, it decided not to pursue prosecution.

Robert Spencer adds:

The 28-page section of the 9/11 report detailing Saudi involvement in the September 11, 2001 jihad attacks has finally been released (albeit with substantial portions still redacted) …

The report states that Omar al-Bayoumi, who “may be a Saudi intelligence officer,” gave “substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mindhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000.” …

Another possible Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, who “has many ties to the Saudi government” and was also a supporter of Osama bin Laden, boasted that he did more for al-Mindhar and al-Hamzi than al-Bayoumi did. He also “reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi government officials.” The report says that at one point, “a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash,” and that “he and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi ambassador to the United States and his wife.” That ambassador was Prince Bandar, about whom the New York Times later noted: “No foreign diplomat has been closer or had more access to President Bush, his family and his administration than the magnetic and fabulously wealthy Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia.”

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Stephen Neil