Other than the JFK assassination, perhaps no event in American history has been the subject of more conspiracy theories than the terrorist attacks on September 11. One of the most widely circulated is based on the premise that assets of the United States government knew about or had a role in the attacks.
Now a federal judge has ordered the FBI to turn over 3,000 pages of documents about a man named Omar al-Bayoumi, believed to be a Saudi and CIA intelligence asset. al-Bayoumi acted as a handler for two of the 9/11 hijackers, according to a report.
According to a national security blog called Spy Talk, the judge, who is overseeing the legal proceedings against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohamad and others, ordered the FBI to release the documents.
“The accused [9/11 defendants] are charged with conspiracy, so existing evidence from the criminal investigations into that conspiracy is relevant to this case,” wrote Air Force Col. Michael McCall.
“It is notable that the prosecution has not argued that additional materials do not exist, nor has it asserted a privilege over the information,” the publication wrote.
The outlet reported that al-Bayoumi has been the target of FBI investigations for over 20 years due to his role as a handler of two 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. Earlier this year, Office of Military Commissions investigator Don Canestraro also alleged al-Bayoumi was a CIA asset.
Canestraro alleged that two FBI agents told him that the CIA attempted to recruit al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. Those recruiting efforts were funneled through al-Bayoumi, Canestraro said.
According to one of the FBI agents, identified as “CS-3” in court filings, al-Bayoumi allegedly set up bank accounts and rented apartments for the two hijackers in San Diego at the bidding of the CIA.
“According to CS-e, before the 9/11 attacks, the CIA was under pressure to recruit informants within al-Qaeda,” Canestraro said. “Responding to this pressure, [an unidentified CIA official] and his/her colleagues at the CIA were attempting to recruit al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar via a liaison relationship with the Saudi GID.”
Another FBI agent, identified as CS-23, also confirmed that accounting in statements, Canestraro said. “CS-23 told me that the attempt to recruit al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar was an operation directed by the Central Intelligence Agency. CS-23 told me that the CIA used their liaison relationship with the Saudi intelligence services to conduct an operation on U.S. soil."
Aside from the FBI agents, Canestraro also spoke with Richard Clarke, former Deputy National Security Adviser, and served three U.S. presidents–George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush in various positions involving counterterrorism. Clarke has spoken about the CIA recruitment theory publicly. He allegedly told Canestraro the CIA was recruiting the hijackers was related to a false flag operation.
“According to Mr. Clarke, this ‘false flag’ operation would have involved al-Bayoumi befriending the two hijackers by attempting to convince them that he was sympathetic to their cause,” Canestraro said in the court filing.
“At the same time, al-Bayoumi would have been reporting on the hijackers’ activities to Saudi intelligence and ultimately to the CIA.”
The CIA denied the allegations via a spokesperson.
In March, Spy Talk reported, “The revelations were found in a 21-page court document filed in 2021 at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba, where the cases of the 9/11 defendants are being heard. The document was on the public docket but went unreported because it was completely redacted except for an unclassified marking…”
Last year, a number of FBI documents were declassified and released and showed the level of Saudi intelligence operations inside the United States.
Canestraro’s investigation wouldn’t have been possible without assurances of confidentiality toward his sources. In one case, the FBI sent a letter of reprimand to at least one former agent who had spoken publicly about Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 investigation. Spy Talk obtained a 2019 letter where the FBI “reminded” the agent about the confidentiality agreement he agreed to when he joined the agency and to clear any future disclosures with FBI headquarters.
Families of 9/11 victims claim that terror suspects being held at Gitmo are getting more information than they are.
“The defense counsel for those accused of mass murder on 9/11 is getting more access to documents than the terror victims themselves,” one family member who lost his father at the World Trade Center told Spy Talk.