An al-Qaida suspect stands behind bars during a hearing at the state security court in Sanaa, Yemen, on Sept. 12, 2013. A Yemeni court on Thursday acquitted five Saudi nationals of links with al-Qaida, but jailed two of them for illegally entering the country, lawyers said. [Xinhua/Mohammed Mohammed]
It is well-known that 15 of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers who took part in the 9/11 terrorist strike were Saudis. Recent leaks reveal the shocking story that the Saudi government might also have had a hand in the affair.
According to a report put out by the International Business Times on Monday, two House members Reps. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) were shocked beyond description after reading 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) into 9/11 issued in late 2002.
They were not allowed to disclose the content. But they introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages which were originally classified by George W. Bush. The resolution is not new. A decade ago, 46 senators demanded in a letter to Bush that he declassify those pages, to no avail.
But media reports over the years revealed that the Saudi government had at least an indirect role in supporting the 9/11 terrorists. The alleged link between the Saudi government and the hijackers revolve around two Saudi men who lived in San Diego, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Basnan, both have long since left the United States.
In early 2000, al-Bayoumi, who had previously worked for the Saudi government in civil aviation (a part of the Saudi defense department), invited two of the hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi to San Diego from Los Angeles. The invitation was extended on the same day that al-Bayoumi visited the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles for a private meeting.
Al-Bayoumi arranged for the two future hijackers to live in an apartment and paid $1,500 to cover their first two months of rent.
Osama Basnan received monthly checks for several years totaling $73,000 from the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar and his wife. This money eventually made its way into the hands of the hijackers.