According to a recent report from the New York Post, after investigating the sudden departure of a prominent Saudi family from the U.S. just weeks before 9/11, the FBI decided to keep details of the investigation hidden from the congressional committee looking into the attacks.
Esam Ghazzawi, who was an advisor to the nephew of then Saudi king Fahd, owned the luxury home in Sarasota, Florida which was abandoned just 15 days before 9/11 by his daughter and son-in-law, Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, “leaving behind jewelry, clothes, opulent furniture, a driveway full of cars — including a brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser — and even a refrigerator full of food.”
From the Post:
Neighbors took note of the troubling coincidence and called the FBI, which opened an investigation that led to the startling discovery that at least one “family member” trained at the same flight school as some of the 9/11 hijackers in nearby Venice, Fla.
The investigation into the prominent Saudi family’s ties to the hijackers started on Sept. 19, 2001, and remained active for several years. It was led by the FBI’s Tampa field office but also involved the bureau’s field offices in New York and Washington, and also the Southwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force.
Agents identified persons of interest in the case, establishing their ties to other terrorists, sympathies with Osama bin Laden and anti-American remarks. They looked into their bank accounts, colleges and places of employment. They tracked at least one suspect’s re-entry into the US.
The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.
“The FBI told the Review Commission that the communication was ‘poorly written’ and wholly unsubstantiated,” a 128 page Congressional report stated.
“When questioned later by others in the FBI, the special agent who wrote [it] was unable to provide any basis for the contents of the document or explain why he wrote it as he did.”
“At no time did the FBI develop evidence that connected the family members to any of the 9/11 hijackers … and there was no connection found to the 9/11 plot,’’ the FBI said in an official statement.
Former Democratic Senator Bob Graham, who chaired the congressional inquiry into 9/11, told the Post that he believed the FBI was covering up Saudi links to 9/11.
Graham wants president Barack Obama to make the final 28 pages of the report available to the public.
“The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier,” Graham said.
Featured image via the New York Post