FBI reports released under the Freedom of Information Act detail government concerns that terrorists had obtained, or were seeking to obtain, undersea submersibles capable of attacking U.S. ships.
In September 2016, Florida Bulldog requested FBI records about the sale of underwater submersibles to terrorists after reporting on the apparent purchase by one or more 9/11 hijackers of between four and eight K-10 Hydrospeeder submersibles from a Fort Lauderdale marine accessories store.
In all, the FBI released 44 heavily censored pages, many marked as part of the FBI’s huge 9/11 investigation code-named PENTTBOM. The FBI withheld completely another 52 pages, citing national security, privacy and other exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act.
The records show that as early as August 1998, two years before the deadly bombing of the Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in Yemen, the FBI’s Tampa office had received information and supporting documentation about a “suspicious” sale of two K-10 submersibles to a Saudi Arabian by a Florida dive shop. Blanked out were the name of the dive shop and the identity of the Saudi and his British representative. The city where the dive shop was located was also censored, citing privacy.