ICYMI: President Biden Must Hold Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Accountable For 9/11 Attacks
President Biden Must Lead Pursuit Of Justice For Families And Injured Survivors
WASHINGTON – As the 21st anniversary of the worst-ever terrorist attacks on American soil nears, the USA Today Network published an op-ed authored by Terry Strada, National Chair of 9/11 Families United, calling on President Biden to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable for its role in providing the resources needed by the 19 radical Islamist hijackers to carry out the 9/11 attacks.
Documents kept secret by the U.S. government for years but recently declassified by President Biden provide clear evidence of the Kingdom’s assistance to the hijackers. Most of these documents, however, were not available to the 9/11 Commission.
In detailing the findings of the U.S. documents, Strada concludes that “Since President Biden was instrumental in releasing the documents, it is his duty to help the 9/11 community hold the kingdom accountable in our pursuit of justice for the murder of loved ones and injured survivors.
Full Text of the Op-ed:
By Terry Strada
Twenty-one years ago, I received a frantic call from my husband, Tom, telling me a plane hit his building in lower Manhattan. In less than two hours, my husband’s fate was sealed. The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 10:28 a.m., taking the life of my husband and our children’s father with it. My pursuit of justice and accountability for those that aided in my husband’s murder continues today.
After years of pleading from the 9/11 community, President Joe Biden took the unprecedented step of declassifying U.S. intelligence reports that shed more light on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s entanglement with and support for al Qaeda and the 19 radical Islamist hijackers. Thousands of pages of documents illustrate how the kingdom, and its officials, state-run charities, banks and citizens provided the resources for the U.S.-based support network that the hijackers relied upon. It is abundantly clear and positively scandalous the government withheld this information from the public for so long — and disclosed it so long after the 9/11 Commission’s publication.
Having been working on this for so long, it does not surprise me that the Saudis are sticking to their well-worn talking points. They claim the 9/11 Commission confirmed their innocence — which it never said — and the media continues to repeat their hollow denials. The facts, however, are clear. For example, a recently-declassified FBI investigation into the kingdom’s role in the Sept. 11 and other intelligence reports and summaries, once shrouded in secrecy, pick apart Riyadh’s lies.
For example, the FBI found:
- A Saudi militant network “was created, funded, directed, and supported by the [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] and its affiliated organizations and diplomatic personnel within the U.S.”
- “Saudi government officials and intelligence officers were directly operating and supporting the entities involved with this network.”
- “Because the Kingdom’s officials and intel officers were involved with the activities of these networks, they had the knowledge or approval of the Kingdom’s government.”
- One of the Saudi agents, Omar Al Bayoumi, who helped two of the first arriving hijackers, worked for the kingdom’s spy agency and was paid monthly by Prince Bandar, the then-Ambassador to the U.S. Musaed al Jarrah, a Saudi diplomat assigned to the Embassy, was “a high-level employee in the Islamic Affairs Office” and was heavily involved with the movement and support of what was termed “the Saudi Salafi network within the U.S.” He had a “controlling, guiding and directing influence on all aspects of Sunni extremist activity in Southern California” which included members of the 9/11 hijacker support network in Southern California.
- Fahad al Thumairy, a “hard-core extremist”, was a Saudi imam at the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, California, who held Saudi diplomatic credentials and was listed as employed in a Saudi office at the Embassy in Washington, where Jarrah was located. The evidence continues to show that he worked with Bayoumi and others to aid the hijackers.
- In late 1999, Thumairy received a call from Malaysia that the FBI described as being about “the imminent arrival” of two early arriving hijackers. In other words, Thumairy was given a heads up that two al Qaeda operatives were on their way to the U.S.
From another declassified report, we also know that documents seized from Bayoumi’s home include a notebook that contains a drawing of a plane with flight calculations that one aviation expert told the FBI were, in his opinion, “used as part of the preparations of the al Qaeda terrorists to carry out the 9/11 attacks.”
I have pursued these truths because of my desire to help prevent Islamist extremism’s threat of violence against the United States from succeeding once again. Exposing the Kingdom’s part in murdering my husband and thousands of others is an essential truth regarding Sept. 11 and holding the supporters accountable remains a moral imperative.
Since Biden was instrumental in releasing the documents, it is his duty to help the 9/11 community hold the kingdom accountable in our pursuit of justice for the murder of loved ones and injured survivors. Ensuring that he does so will remain my focus.
Terry Strada is national chair of 9/11 Families United, a coalition of survivors and families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
9/11 Families United is an organization of family members of those murdered in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as many of those who survived, were injured in, or sickened from the attacks—a community of more than 10,000 people. More background and contact information can be found at www.911familiesunited.org.