By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
As late as October 2012, federal prosecutors and FBI agents in New York City were actively exploring filing charges against a suspect for providing material support to the 9/11 hijackers and other crimes.
The suspect’s identity and many details of the New York investigation are blanked out of a FBI summary report that discusses “Updates and Initiatives (as of 5 October 2012)” about 9/11. The document was released to Florida Bulldog amid ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation that seeks access to records of the 9/11 Review Commission.
The report was heavily redacted for national security, privacy and other reasons. But the report’s declassified portions indicate the New York investigation targeted an apparent U.S. support network for two of the 9/11 suicide hijackers – Saudis Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar – who with three other terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
“This has never been disclosed before and it’s to the contrary of almost everything the FBI has produced so far that has indicated that 9/11 is history,” said former Sen. Bob Graham, D-FL, who co-chaired Congress’s Joint Inquiry into the terrorist attacks. “It’s interesting that it took them 11 years to get there, and a FOIA to get this information to the public.”
The report, originally classified secret, is marked “declassify on 12-31-2037.”
Sean Carter, a Philadelphia attorney who represents numerous victims of 9/11 in a massive lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, called the release of the 2012 FBI report “a powerful and important disclosure.”
“We’ve been repeatedly told by U.S. officials that all questions of Saudi involvement were resolved by the 9/11 Commission and now you have confirmation that there was an active investigation happening years after the 9/11 Commission shut its doors” in August 2004.
Said Graham: “What we don’t know now is what’s happened since 2012. If the decision was not to proceed, why? And if it was to proceed, what’s the status?”
The FBI declined to comment about its New York investigation or its October 2012 report. “We do not have anything to add to the 9/11 Review Commission report,” the FBI’s National Press Office said last week. Click here to view the 2012 FBI Summary report.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia have long maintained the kingdom had no involvement in 9/11. Over the summer, Congress overwhelmingly overrode President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), allowing 9/11 victims and their kin to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts.
So sensitive even report’s title is a secret
The newly released 2012 FBI report, emblazoned with a logo that depicts the Twin Towers inside a pentagon against a backdrop of an American flag, is mentioned fleetingly in a footnote in the 9/11 Review Commission’s final report. It is so sensitive that even its title is classified “in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.” Similarly, the FBI censored from a synopsis the investigation’s code-name citing the same national security exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act.
“[Redacted] is an investigation into individuals known to have provided substantial assistance to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar during their time in California,” the synopsis says.
The report lists three of the “main subjects” of the probe – the name of one, however, was censored for national security. Fahad-al-Thumairy was a Saudi diplomat and imam at Los Angeles’ King Fahd Mosque when the two future hijackers, who spoke little or no English, first arrived in the U.S. in January 2000. The report says Thumairy “immediately assigned an individual to take care of them during their time in Los Angeles.”
Omar al-Bayoumi, the second subject, was a suspected Saudi agent who befriended Hazmi and Mihdhar in Southern California. The report says Bayoumi “was living in San Diego on a student visa, despite not attending classes, and receiving a salary from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for job duties he never performed.” Bayoumi has told authorities he accidentally met the two hijackers at a Los Angeles restaurant shortly after their arrival.
Like in the case of the identity of the third subject, a sentence or two mentioning Thumairy and Bayoumi were also redacted. Still, the final sentence of the synopsis offers a teaser that indicates the third individual was highly placed: “There is evidence that [redacted] and tasked al-Thumairy and al-Bayoumi with assisting the hijackers.”
The four-page report goes on to say that the trio “provided (or directed others to provide) the hijackers with assistance in daily activities, including procuring living quarters, financial assistance, and assistance in obtaining flight lessons and driver’s licenses. [Redacted] seeks to prove these subjects provided such assistance with the knowledge that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were here to commit an act of terrorism.”
The 9/11 Review Commission, which disclosed the existence of the 2012 FBI summary report, was authorized by Congress to conduct an “external” review of the FBI’s response to the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and to evaluate new evidence. Its final report, in March 2015, said its work included a review of the FBI’s ongoing effort to probe “lingering allegations that the circle of 9/11 conspirators may be wider.” The Review Commission ultimately concluded, however, that it saw nothing “to change the 9/11 Commission’s original findings regarding the presence of witting assistance” to Hazmi and Mihdhar.
The 9/11 Review Commission’s public report, however, does not mention the existence of the federal criminal investigation in New York, its status at the time, or a variety of related matters cited in the 2012 FBI report.
According to the partially declassified report the New York investigation was discussed at a Sept. 24, 2012 meeting at the FBI’s New York City office. Present were FBI agents, an unidentified a Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and a Department of Justice attorney.
The report says that at the request of an unnamed official, the New York prosecutor “will explore potential charges for [redacted], including providing material support for the 9/11 hijackers, as well as lesser crimes, which investigators could present at a future interview with [redacted].”
The report then discusses assistance provided two weeks earlier of the FBI’s legal attaché in Copenhagen. Much of the discussion was excised, again for national security considerations, but the missing information appears to be about a U.S. request to the Danish government for cooperation and/or extradition.
“Legat Copenhagen advised that [redacted]. Upon resolution of the claim and its likely rejection [redacted] will coordinate with SDNY [the Southern District of New York.]”
The action that month followed a June 2012 visit to London by a team that included New York FBI agents, analysts from FBI headquarters in Washington and the assistant U.S. attorney. The trip’s purpose: “to exploit evidence seized in 2001 in New Scotland Yard’s searches of Omar al Bayoumi’s residences and offices” in England, the 2012 report says.
British authorities arrested Bayoumi on an immigration charge for a few days shortly after 9/11. The FBI has said agents found nothing then to connect Bayoumi to terrorism and no evidence that his assistance to Hazmi and Mihdhar “was witting.” The 9/11 Commission reached a similar conclusion in 2004.
Other statements about the London trip are mostly censored, once again for reasons including national security. One short segment, however, says the Bayoumi evidence included documents that officials were having translated “to determine relevancy.” Apparently, those records went untranslated by law enforcement for more than a decade.
The report contains several bullet points about individuals with ties to Hazmi and/or Mihdhar. All of the names are redacted, but one name is discernable from the available information: former Tampa resident Osama “Sam” Mustafa.
Prior to 9/11 Mustafa owned a gas station in a suburb of San Diego where future hijacker Hazmi worked for about a month in the fall of 2000. Mustafa previously had been the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation that yielded no evidence of criminal conduct, according to the 9/11 Commission’s final report.
The 2012 FBI report recounts Mustafa’s May 15, 2012 arrest in Tampa for Treasury check fraud filed by a U.S. Attorney in Virginia. Court records say the case involved a $17 million tax-refund fraud scheme, and that Mustafa was found guilty in April 2013. Four months later, while out on bond, Mustafa removed a monitoring bracelet and vanished. In June 2014, Mustafa was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison. He remains a fugitive.
Tampa man denied knowledge of terrorism
According to the report, federal authorities in Tampa had offered Mustafa a deal on Sept. 17, 2012. “During the proffer [Mustafa] echoed [a] previous statement he had made, denying any knowledge of the hijackers’ terrorist affiliation and providing no additional details of use to investigators. [Mustafa] seemed optimistic about the charges he was facing. [Redacted] investigators anticipate future proffer sessions with [Mustafa] on the [Redacted] national security issues.”
One bullet item in the FBI report is entirely censored. Others with declassified information:
- On Sept. 24, 2012, two or more individuals were sentenced in federal court in the Southern District of California to five years’ probation and a $2,500 fine each. All information identifying those individuals, explaining what their case was about and how they are tied to 9/11 was blanked out, mostly for privacy considerations.
- In August 2012, Los Angeles’ Joint Terrorism Task Force confirmed the address of an unidentified individual “who was known to have extremist views, and was identified as having met with Omar al-Bayoumi in private on the same day as Bayoumi’s alleged ‘chance’ first meeting with 9/11 hijackers” Hazmi and Mihdhar. “[Redacted] planning to approach [redacted] for an interview of his role aiding Bayoumi in facilitating the hijacker’s arrival and settlement in California, for which [redacted] has never provided an adequate explanation.”
- The FBI wanted to interview another subject who helped facilitate “the day-to-day life” of Hazmi and Mihdhar in San Diego. The subject “is reported to be very concerned about his presence on U.S. no-fly lists.”
The 2012 FBI report takes a longer look at Mohdar Abdullah, who “played a key role facilitating the daily lives and assisting future Flight 77 hijackers.” His story is recounted in a section of the report titled “Details on Mohdar Abdullah and his connection [redacted].” National security is cited for that redaction, and for much of the first couple of sentences in the section.
Also removed from the report are several sentences detailing “the immediate goal of” investigating Abdullah, whom the 9/11 Commission Report previously said worked at the gas station where Hazmi was employed.
According to the 9/11 Commission, Abdullah was a Yemeni student in his early 20s who was “fluent in both Arabic and English,” sympathetic to extremist views “and was perfectly suited to assist the hijackers in pursuing their mission.” When FBI agents searched his possessions after the attacks, they found a notebook “belonging to someone else with references to planes falling from the sky, mass killing and hijacking,’’ the 9/11 Commission report says. Abdullah was detained as a material witness and later “he expressed hatred for the U.S. government and ‘stated that the U.S. brought ‘this’ on themselves.’ ”
Newly declassified information in the 2012 FBI report says that shortly after Feb. 4, 2000, Abdullah was one of two individuals tasked by Bayoumi to assist the two future hijackers. A partially censored sentence then says, “Anwar Aulaqi and they may have spent time together with the hijackers.”
Aulaqi, also known as Anwar al-Awlaki, was an American who was imam of the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque in San Diego, where Hazmi and Mihdhar worshipped. U.S. officials later identified him an al Qaeda recruiter who helped plan terrorist operations. Aulaqi was killed in Yemen in September 2011 by a U.S. Hellfire missile drone strike.
Man allegedly bragged about helping hijackers
The 2012 FBI report says, “After September 11, 2001 Mohdar (Abdullah) was investigated by the FBI for assisting the hijackers. On September 19, 2001 he was arrested by FBI San Diego on charges of immigration fraud for his claim of being a Somali asylee (Mohdar is Yemeni.) Mohdar pled guilty to the immigration charges and was deported to Yemen in 2004.
“While Mohdar was detained in an immigration facility he bragged to two fellow inmates that he assisted the hijackers. The FBI and the SDNY have debriefed these individuals. Both are cooperative, but there is some prosecutorial concern about their value as witnesses,” the report says.
Much of the rest of the section about Mohdar Abdullah is blanked out citing a FOIA exemption that protects confidential sources and personal privacy.
The 2012 FBI report was among about 200 pages of 9/11 Review Commission records recently released to Florida Bulldog. On Nov. 30, the Bulldog reported that records showed agents investigating 9/11 did not obtain security records from a Sarasota-area gated community containing alleged evidence that the hijackers had visited the residence of a Saudi family with ties to the royal family. A story last week reported how the FBI had censored its documents to remove information about how much it paid the Review Commission’s three members and staff.
The FBI’s information release included two other documents describing briefings given to the Review Commission. One involved a Feb. 25, 2014 Washington Times story that said the FBI had “placed a human source in direct contact” with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and learned bin Laden was looking to finance attacks against the U.S. The heavily censored document recounts statements by retired FBI agent Bassem Youseff, who explained the source did not have direct contact with bin Laden.
The second document recounts a briefing by FBI agents titled, “Overview of Additional Evidence Regarding the 9/11 Attacks.” “It was explained that in preparation for trials of individuals held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the FBI has gone back to review evidence/information already in hand to see if additional evidence can be found for the prosecutions of these individuals.”
Most of the two-page report was censored for national security and other reasons, except for this sentence, “None of this identifies new participants in the 9/11 attacks but hardens the existing known connections to the plot.”
bill warner / December 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Friday, December 16, 2016
Email Today From Wanted Fugitive Osama Sam Mustafa email@example.com at IP 18.104.22.168 Amman Jordan, Allegedly.
December 16th, 2016 Received Email From: firstname.lastname@example.org
IP address.. (IP: 22.214.171.124) Amman Jordan. Email Supposedly From US Marshals Wanted Fugitive Osama Sam Mustafa, get a load of the ranting and note where he threatens federal prosecutor Joseph Mott:
From: sam mustafa
To: Bill Warner
Sent: Fri, Dec 16, 2016 4:49 pm
Subject: Re: back off
My name is Osama (sam) Mustafa . I am considered a fugitive from so called justice. This guy bill Warner is nothing but a liar. He’s a racist pig who keeps trying to say I have connections to terrorism. I assure everyone I have none. I was tried on trumped up charges that I somehow stole 17.8 million dollars from the federal government. After a sham 3 day trial where they made sure I had no witnesses when it was my turn, I was convicted. Rest assure everyone I’ve written the idiots at the FBI and told them I was in Jordan. I am ready to come back as soon as I secure proper representation and not like the guy in Roanoke Virginia I was dumped on tony Anderson. My total bond was 50k so for someone that allegedly stole 17.8 million I got quite a discount. Starts to give you an idea of just how bogus the charges were. Even though my alleged crime happened in Tampa I was dragged to some place I never heard about , some small town called Roanoke Virginia and tried there. The federal government froze all my money so the deck was stacked against me to start with. They also wanted to make sure they would get a Muslim hating jury which they did. During my trial my so called co conspirator the reason they used to drag me to this place called Roanoke was never shown. Actually if anyone looks at the transcripts not a single word was mentioned about me having anything to do with Roanoke Virginia. This is just to give you a very tiny taste of how bogus my trial was. The federal prosecutor Joseph Mott had no qualms about having people purposefully lying on the stand. God willing we will send him to prison. It will happen sooner then later. As for this animal bill Warner I’ve never done anything to him and all he’s done is written a bunch of lies about me. Billy boy I’m in Amman every one knows that. As for me being a member of the PLO where’s your proof you idiot. I lived my entire life in the states except for 3 years when I was 13 years old. False witness is punishable by eternal damnation. (I have always claimed Mustafa was a member of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) it is the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization PLO.)Your place in hell is reserved. Just for your information the corrupt prosecutor (federal prosecutor Joseph Mott) that prosecuted me on lies had his son snatched from him. That’s right two months after he asked the judge to sentence me to 20 years he buried his son. God doesn’t forget injustice. Now you despicable pig if you want to accuse me of standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people well I’m guilty as charged. I don’t know how you look yourself in the mirror and how you have no fear of God and the day of judgement. The doors of hell are waiting for you (bill Warner).
FRANK DADDARIO / December 21, 2016 2:39 pm
the thing of it is we lost the high ground and should have nuked Al-Masjid Al-Haram, Mecca and all continued to ALL Wahhabi hot spots including mosques and schools on september 12 2001 and held a second nuke over Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Medina with the warning that any other attack like on 9/11 and we drop it = period
saudis are no more our friends that pakistani are – never were and never will be
i really don’t mind that we side with IRAN as the counterbalance
FRANK DADDARIO / December 21, 2016 2:48 pm
otherwise SEN GRAHAM has to first tell me why the Everglades are DEAD under his watch or else i have no faith in his investigative ability
the FBI had five agents onto the MAFIA when “communist threats” and McCarthyism was in full bloom occupying the time and resources of three hundred FBI agents nation-wide – it wasn’t until a NY State Trooper decided to look into a log cabin meeting upstate NY when a number of suspicious limousines arrived in the middle of nowhere in the woods that the FBI woke up
J E Hoover was able to control the bureau during FIVE presidential changes and it was always a fumbling stumbling second class law enforcement agency – no use on WALL STREET or Main Street or the middle east = period
PLUS they are highly suseptible to being BOUGHT OFF which is why many like WHITEY BULGER et al lived so long on the lam IN PLAIN SIGHT
Robert Alexander / December 21, 2016 8:30 pm
And when W said Clearly mistakes were made .One of the biggest understatement ever ! And journalist and former senator’s say they want the truth but neither will take the time ! And to try and prove the truth a lie ?
Adam / January 30, 2017 11:41 am
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is one of few prosecutions in some way related to 911. Im wondering about this being related.
AMERICAN / August 10, 2020 10:26 pm
This COUNTRY, in some ways are so screwed up, that they allow a person who conspired to kill THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, on 9/11, get to see ALL “STATE SECRETS” and the people who lost family on that day cannot see them. This is such a one sided law. It is DISGRACEFUL. Why is a MURDERER ALLOWED TO SEE “STATE SECRETS”, BUT THE VICTIMS FAMILIES CANNOT. DOUBLE STANDARD. IT IS TIME TO KICK OFF THE KID GLOVES AND GET THESE ASSHOLES TO RELEASE THESE DOCUMENTS. IS THIS A DEMOCRATS THING? IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE IT TO ME.
Pingback: A 'State Secret' No More: New FBI Report Says Saudi Government Says Saudi Government Officials Provided Support Network for 9/11 Hijackers... – T-Room / May 19, 2022 8:17 pm