The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Homeland Security

Iran Press TV

FBI accidentally names Saudi official suspected of supporting 9/11 hijackers: Yahoo News

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:35 AM

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reported to have accidentally revealed, in a court filing, the identity of a Saudi diplomat, who is suspected of having directed support for two of the al-Qaeda-linked hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In an exclusive investigative report on Wednesday, Yahoo News said the diplomat's name had been exposed after the FBI failed to cross out his name in one case in a declaration it had filed with federal court.

The declaration identifies the official as Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, a Saudi Foreign Ministry official, who was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000.

Some 3,000 people were killed in the attacks that targeted several locations across the US.

Saudi Arabia's name came to the fore in discussions concerning the historic acts of terror soon after their occurrence, with investigators quickly concluding that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the raids were of Saudi origin.

However, Riyadh has managed to avoid any liability amid what the families of the victims, survivors and their lawyers denounce as Washington's attempts to shield the kingdom from any comeuppance.

'Third man'

Until 2012, two Saudi officials were suspected of having provided chief support to two of the hijackers. The officials have been named as Fahad al-Thumairy, a radical Saudi cleric, who was the imam of the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi government agent.

That year, though, the probes came up with Jarrah's name as the person "tasking" Thumairy and Bayoumi with helping out the hijackers.

Nevertheless, the diplomat's identity remained under wraps, prompting lawyers and families to refer to him only as "the third man," namely the third high-profile Saudi individual identified so far in the case.

The FBI declaration that slipped up his name had ironically been filed with the court to force the concealment of his identity and classify it under "state secrets" under the pretext that the disclosure of his name could cause "significant harm to the national security."

'Giant' mistake

"This is a giant screw-up," Yahoo News cited Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families, whose father was killed in the attacks, as saying about the blunder.

Eagleson, meanwhile, slammed the US administration for "a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement" in the acts of terror, saying "there was a hierarchy of command" involved in the attacks directly "coming from the Saudi Embassy."

Join the mailing list