This is my second article based on an examination of several hundred recently-declassified documents from the FBI’s investigation of Saudi government links to 9/11. The first was FBI Mistakenly Names Saudi Consulate Employee Eyed in 9/11 Investigation.
FBI agents investigating Saudi ties to 9/11 discovered a troubling set of phone calls among Saudi embassy and consulate officials, an extremist American cleric and a Saudi agent in San Diego—calls that took place in the weeks leading up to the first two hijackers’ arrival in Los Angeles and while they were settling in.
The timing raises suspicions of a premeditated scheme to shepherd the hijackers into American life—and some of the call participants personally did just that.
The phone links are described across thousands of pages of FBI documents released between September 2021 and April 2022. Many of the documents are from Operation Encore, an FBI investigation of Saudi government ties to the 9/11 plotters.
The first two hijackers to reach the United States were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who acted as “muscle” hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77, which struck the Pentagon.
According to a 2008 Operation Encore document, “multiple San Diego sources and other individuals associated with al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi during their time in southern California believed that the two hijackers must have been given ‘tazkia’ prior to arriving in the United States.”
The document defines “tazkia” as one person’s vouching for another. Someone already in America “would then, because of this individual’s relationship with the tazkia-providing individual, have provided any and all assistance that al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi would need during their time in the United States.”
Hazmi and Mihdhar spoke very little English upon their arrival, to the extent of not even being able to read street signs. The two hijackers’ “only qualifications appeared to be support for [Osama bin Laden] and their ability to obtain visas,” says an FBI report.
Given their unfamiliarity with the United States and its language, it seems certain these first two hijackers on U.S. soil would have indeed needed help from people already in the country.
That help came, and phone records suggest it was pre-arranged, facilitated and supervised by Saudi government officials, employees and an intelligence asset.
Read the rest of this article at Stark Realities with Brian McGlinchey