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9/11 leak motive: Saudi diplomat who FBI report says sought to aid hijackers had child porn on his computer

saudi diplomat
saudi diplomat
Saudi diplomat Musaed al Jarrah

By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org

A New York federal magistrate’s hunt for the leaker of a 610-page deposition transcript of a Saudi diplomat wrapped up Tuesday after two testy days of an unusual trial in which lawyers for the Saudi government grilled their opponent lawyers for the 9/11 families on the witness stand.

The admitted leaker is John Fawcett, a key investigator for the Kreindler & Kreindler law firm. His job was to manage all the 9/11 discovery documents obtained during the firm’s nearly 20-year quest to hold Saudi Arabia financially responsible for the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that killed 2,996 people and injured 25,000 others.

The leak violated so-called protective orders imposed by the court to keep certain sensitive national security and privacy information from becoming public. Plaintiffs’ lawyers testified those orders, which have resulted in thousands of pages being kept off the public record, has been particularly frustrating because they have prevented them from informing their clients.

In early September, President Biden issued an executive order instructing the FBI and other executive branch agencies to conduct declassification reviews of records about 9/11 and make public those that truly don’t compromise national security. The deadline for the release of a batch of records was Nov. 2, but nothing new appeared on FBI Vault site.

Fawcett, who before he joined Kreindler in 2002 worked for an international aid organization in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, testified he leaked the transcript to Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff last July because of his concerns a Saudi diplomat, who was tied to 9/11 in an FBI document first released to Florida Bulldog in 2016, was consuming and possibly trafficking in child pornography.

Fawcett also admitted destroying evidence to cover up what he’d done, specifically using “auto destruct” on his personal computer to erase the email he used to send the transcript to Isikoff. He also trashed a thumb drive he used to download the transcript from Kreindler’s system.

SAUDI DIPLOMAT AND CHILD PORN

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn will decide the outcome of the nonjury trial. She could decide to refer Fawcett to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution for violating her court orders, obstruction of justice and perjury.

Testimony and attorney statements established that FBI agents found “numerous” images of child porn on the computer of Musaed al Jarrah in 2004-2005. Jarrah served in Saudi Arabia’s Washington, D.C. embassy in 2000-2002 when he reportedly “tasked” two Saudi men in Southern California to aid Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two of the five-member al Qaeda team that crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

Mark Hansen

The testimony and statements did not address where or why the FBI had examined Jarrah’s computer. The deposition contains about 30 pages discussing “the child issue,” according to Washington, D.C. attorney Mark Hansen, who represents Saudi Arabia.

“Wasn’t your real motivation in releasing the al Jarrah transcript to smear a witness who’s been uncooperative with you?” Hansen asked Tuesday afternoon.

“No. That’s not correct,” Fawcett replied.

After hiding his culpability for more than two months, Fawcett confessed to what he did in a confidential declaration to the court on Sept. 27. But his confession satisfied neither Judge Netburn nor the Saudi lawyers at the Washington, D.C. law firm Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick.

James Kreindler a suspect

On Monday, Netburn acknowledged she was “annoyed” by Fawcett’s breach of her protective orders and for months, as the central question of Saudi liability has languished, she appears to have made it something of a crusade to get to the bottom of what happened.

Netburn has stated openly she suspects plaintiffs’ law firm name partner James Kreindler instructed Fawcett to provide the transcript to Isikoff. She noted that twice before Kreindler had been admonished for violations and that about the time of the leak he had appeared on Isikoff’s podcast on July 1 to talk about the case. Isikoff’s story about Jarrah appeared July 15.

James Kreindler

Kreindler strongly denied any impropriety in emotional testimony on Monday.

“Mr. Fawcett knew what you wanted and did what you wanted, didn’t he?” asked Hansen.

“That’s 100 percent false and has no relation to reality,” replied an obviously heated Kreindler.

A few minutes later, Kreindler broke up while speaking about his friend and co-worker of 20 years, John Fawcett. “In my entire life I have never met anyone who I think of as a more honest and noble person than John to one exception, my father,” said Kreindler. “I wish it didn’t happen. It was a mistake. But he is such a good person and is important to thousands of people.”

On Tuesday, it was Fawcett’s turn to testify. He was asked whether he lied to the law firm’s partners by not acknowledging what he’d done until late September.

“I certainly prevaricated and dissembled and avoided letting them know,” Fawcett said.

At the end of Tuesday’s session, Judge Netburn gave the parties until Nov. 24 to exchange final proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law about what happened. Those final proposals must be filed with the court by Dec. 1, she said. Netburn will rule sometime after that.

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Latest comments

  • It was very difficult for the families who have not heard a word of testimony from the accused mass-murderers in a case that has gone on for almost 20 years, to hear our lawyers being questioned like criminals by those defending the accused terrorists. Where is the hearing into why the DOJ has lied numerous times by illegally claiming state secrets and national security to keep Saudi in involvement in 9/11 a secret? The DOJ has never told us who paid for 9/11 attacks, nor held anyone accountable for this crime. Also DOJ: “sorry, everything to do with Saudi involvement is a secret.” The Saudis have been offered every protection and courtesy by the courts and our own government and the families have been treated like the enemy. Infuriating.

  • This is getting even more ridiculous than it was already.

  • So lets lock up the whistleblower and let the terrorists and child predator go free !!!
    Sounds like American Justice to me.

  • Too bad Sarah Netburn doesnt have the integrity to make a crusade to get to the bottom of the complicity of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks. Saudi Arabia has been shielded by the FBI, the CIA and the judiciary at every turn. Only what concerns her personally matters.

  • Perhaps the judge will show the same zeal to allow the trial to proceed as unimpeded as possible to get to the bottom of the involvement of Saudi Arabia in aiding the 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia has been shielded from accountability for 20 years by our own government, including the FBI and the judiciary.

  • Perhaps Judge Netburn will be as outraged by the 20 years of lies and cover-up by three administrations (DOJ, FBI, CIA), including Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump. Perhaps she will focus on the 20 years our lawyers have fought for transparency and justice. The plaintiffs had no recourse when the FBI slammed their door shut on us in a cover-up of mass murder. It took an Executive Order to open it.

  • Who made that Executive Order to open it, again? As for the judge, it is alas not unusual to see a judge far more inflamed by some fillip of procedure that gets his or her goat than the broader goal of finding justice. Disappointing, very – but true.

  • Team 8 Interview with Shirley Kula of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center

    Who calls the Military to scramble aircraft on 9/11
    https://youtu.be/g9VDeWsL1L4

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