The real question is, who authorized those flights?
In August 2004, the 9/11 Commission released an addendum to their report. CNN Reports:
“The commission states that all the Saudi nationals were screened by the FBI to make certain they were not a threat to national security, and that no terrorists escaped from the United States on any of the Saudi flights.”
According to Richard Clarke during his testimony at both the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the 9/11 Commission Hearings, he stated the following:
Senate Judiciary Committee
“Now, what I recall is that I asked for flight manifests of everyone on board and all of those names need to be directly and individually vetted by the FBI before they were allowed to leave the country.* And I also wanted the FBI to sign off even on the concept of Saudis being allowed to leave the country. And as I recall, all of that was done. It is true that members of the Bin Laden family were among those who left.* We knew that at the time. I can’t say much more in open session, but it was a conscious decision with complete review at the highest levels of the State Department and the FBI and the White House.” Testimony of Richard Clarke, Former Counterterrorism Chief, National Security Council, before The Senate Judiciary Committee, September 3, 2003.”
“I was making or coordinating a lot of decisions on 9/11 and the days immediately after.* And I would love to be able to tell you who did it, who brought this proposal to me, but I don’t know.* Since you pressed me, the two possibilities that are most likely are either the Department of State, or the White House Chief of Staff’s Office. But I don’t know.”* Testimony of Richard A. Clarke before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, March 24, 2004.”
Khalil Bin Laden was on one of those flights out of the country. He is the brother of Osama Bin Laden.
Khalil bin Laden, who boarded a plane in Orlando that eventually took him back to Saudi Arabia, won the attention of Brazilian investigators for possible terrorist connections. According to a Brazilian paper, he had business connections in the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais, not far from the tri-border region, an alleged center for training terrorists. [Craig Unger "Saving The Saudis" Vanity Fair, 10/2003]
This means that the White House or the Department of State gave approval for someone suspected of terrorism to leave on those flights.
And Osama Bin Laden may have helped to pay for it.
How nice of us to accomodate him. - Jon
Judicial Watch Releases New FBI Documents: Osama bin Laden May Have Chartered Saudi Flight Out of U.S. after 9/11
(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released new documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) related to the “expeditious departure” of Saudi nationals, including members of the bin Laden family, from the United States following the 9/11 attacks. According to one of the formerly confidential documents, dated 9/21/2001, terrorist Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of the Saudi flights.
The document states: “ON 9/19/01, A 727 PLANE LEFT LAX, RYAN FLT #441 TO ORLANDO, FL W/ETA (estimated time of arrival) OF 4-5PM. THE PLANE WAS CHARTERED EITHER BY THE SAUDI ARABIAN ROYAL FAMILY OR OSAMA BIN LADEN…THE LA FBI SEARCHED THE PLANE [REDACTED] LUGGAGE, OF WHICH NOTHING UNUSUAL WAS FOUND.” The plane was allowed to depart the United States after making four stops to pick up passengers, ultimately landing in Paris where all passengers disembarked on 9/20/01, according to the document.
Overall, the FBI’s most recent document production includes details of the six flights between 9/14 and 9/24 that evacuated Saudi royals and bin Laden family members. The documents also contain brief interview summaries and occasional notes from intelligence analysts concerning the cursory screening performed prior to the departures. According to the FBI documents, incredibly not a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family members possessed any information of investigative value.
Moreover, the documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call to question the thoroughness of the FBI’s investigation of the Saudi flights. For example, on one document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 20 of 23 passengers on the Ryan International Airlines flight (commonly referred to as the “Bin Laden Family Flight”). On another document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 15 of 22 passengers on the same flight.
“Eight days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, Osama bin Laden possibly charters a flight to whisk his family out of the country, and it’s not worth more than a luggage search and a few brief interviews?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Clearly these documents prove the FBI conducted a slapdash investigation of these Saudi flights. We’ll never know how many investigative leads were lost due to the FBI’s lack of diligence.”
U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts ordered the FBI to resubmit “proper disclosures” to the Court and Judicial Watch, having previously criticized the adequacy of redaction descriptions, the validity of exemption claims, and other errors in the FBI’s disclosures. Incredibly, the FBI had previously redacted Osama bin Laden’s name from the records in order “to protect privacy interests.”
The latest version of the FBI documents, obtained under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and through ongoing litigation (Judicial Watch v. Department of Homeland Security & Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 04-1643 (RWR)) is available below.
Click here to view the latest version of the FBI Saudi Flight Documents
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