Declassified 9/11 pages show ties to former Saudi ambassador to U.S.
The 28 pages of newly declassified material from the 9/11 Commission released Friday by Congress show multiple links to associates of Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar, the former longtime ambassador to the United States.
The pages, sent to Congress by the Obama administration, have been the subject of much discussion over what they might reveal about the Saudi government's involvement in the attacks masterminded by terrorist Osama bin Laden when he led al-Qaeda.The pages were used by the 9/11 Commission as part of its investigation into the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks.
A telephone number found in the phone book of al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaida, who was captured in Pakistan in March 2002, was for an Aspen, Colorado, corporation that managed the "affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar," the documents show.
Osama Bassnan, who the documents identify as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, received money from Bandar, and Bassnan's wife also got money from Bandar's wife.
"One at least one occasion," the documents show, "Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar's account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan's wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar."
The top two members of the House Intelligence Committee cautioned that much of the information in the newly released pages were not "vetted conclusions."
While the 9/11 Commission found no evidence that senior Saudi officials were involved in the 9/11 attack, the report did criticize the Saudi government for tolerating and sometimes fanning the flames of radical Islam by funding schools and mosques around the world that spread extreme ideology. The report also noted that some rich Saudis gave money to charities with terrorist links.