Saudis not connected to 9 11 attacks
Two weeks before the 9/11 hijackings, a wealthy Saudi family who had been in contact with Mohamed Atta and others of the 9/11 hijackers, abrupty fled from their luxury home near Sarasota, Florida, according to a story by Anthony Summers and local reporter Dan Christensen, published in the Miami Herald on September 7, 2011. The story raises further questions about the Saudi links to the hijackers which have been raised in Summers' new book on 9/11. The house was owned by Saudi financier Esam Ghazzawi, and was occupied by his daughter Anoud and her husband Abdulazzi al-Hiijjii. Law enforcement agents found records of telephone calls with a number of the 9/11 hijackers, included Mohamed Atta, and security records of the gated community also showed visits by vehicles owned by Atta and another to-be hijacker, Zaid Jarrah. Atta, Jarrah, and Marwan al-Shehhi were all living within 10 miles of Ghazzawi's house, and were taking flying lessons in nearby Venice, Florida. Analysis of phone records from Ghazzawi's house showed contact with 11 other terrorism suspects, including Walid al-Shehhi, who was with Atta on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11. Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the attacks, told the Miami Herald that he should have been told about the findings, saying, it "opens the door to a new chapter of investigation as to the depth of the Saudi role in 9/11." Graham says that the fact that the FBI did not tell the Joint Inquiry about the Florida discoveries, is similar to the agency's failure to provide information linking members of the 9/11 terrorist team to other Saudis in California, until after Congressional investigators discovered it themselves. Although the Congressional committee did accumulate a very large file on the hijackers in the United States, and later turned it over to the 9/11 Commission, "They did very little with it," Graham said, "and their reference to Saudi Arabia is almost cryptic sometimes.... I never got a good answer as to why they did not pursue that." Graham also cited the suppression of the final 28-page section of the Joint Inquiry's report, which was entirely blanked out and kept secret from the public on the orders of former President George W. Bush, and is still being withheld to this day by the Obama Administration. Another recent article, entitled "Evidence of British & Pakistani Complicity on 9/11" by Behrouz Saba, which also refers to Mohamed Atta in Florida, has been published at Nation of Change and other websites. Despite all the post-9/11 obsession with "connecting the dots," Saba writes, one of the key events which took place right under official noses in Washington, D.C. was ignored. By October 2001, ABC News, Fox, and CNN were all reporting a fund transfer of $100,000 in early August 2001 from Dubai to two Florida bank accounts held by Atta. On October 6, CNN identified the man who had sent the money as one Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. Yet, when questioned about him, the White House in its news briefings managed to prevent the story from gaining further traction by creating confusion through usage of aliases and alternate spellings for Sheikh's name. But former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has identified Sheikh as an MI6 agent. In his memoir In the Line of Fire, Musharraf wrotes: "Omar Sheikh is a British national born to Pakistani parents in London on December 23, 1973.... He went to the London School of Economics but dropped out before graduation. It is believed ... he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI-6." Saba says that the Bush Administration knew that Sheikh had been sent by MI6 to Pakistan to cooperate with its counterpart, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), but, "Protecting Britain and Pakistan as two allies took precedence over disclosing the truth."