By Robbyn Swan, FloridaBulldog.org
An FBI analysis of phone records, links the subjects of the Bureau’s probe into the apparent Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks to a key communications hub used by Osama bin Laden.
The analysis shows that on March 2, 2000 – eighteen months before the 9/11 attacks – the phone of a young Somali/Yemeni student in San Diego exchanged a series of calls with a phone number in Yemen that had also been contacted hundreds of times by bin Laden and other al Qaeda terrorists. The March calls, never before publicly revealed, were the first to the hub from California. In the weeks before, two Saudi government employees had repeated telephone contacts with the student. Those contacts, FBI agents came to suspect, were “set up calls” to prepare for the first hijackers’ arrival in the U.S.
Evidence of the relationship among the two Saudis, Fahad al Thumairy and Omar al Bayoumi, and the student, emerges from thousands of pages of FBI files released in recent months under an Executive Order issued by President Biden in September 2021. Most of the documents, once deemed “state secrets” by the Trump administration, reflect the work of agents involved in Operation Encore, a follow-up investigation to the FBI’s original 9/11 investigation, PENTTBOM. Operation Encore’s existence was first revealed by Florida Bulldog in 2016.
Operation Encore was set up in 2007 in part to examine whether three Saudi men – Thumairy, Bayoumi and Musaed al Jarrah, a mid-level official at the Saudi Embassy in Washington – had provided hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi with assistance when they arrived in California in January 2000. If so, had the trio “wittingly provided such assistance” with the knowledge that the pair “were in the U.S. to commit an act of terrorism”?
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This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.