October 26, 2021


Beyond law

Previous FBI agent who worked on even now-solution FBI 9/11 case suggests hijackers had U.S.-based mostly guidance network

President Biden signed an govt purchase Friday directing the Section of Justice to oversee a declassification evaluate of some paperwork linked to the 9/11 attacks, amid tension from households of victims who are demanding to know if Saudi Arabia served the hijackers. The buy involves the legal professional normal to launch any declassified paperwork in the subsequent six months. 

Some documents pertain to a even now-top secret investigation, code named “Operation Encore,” which centered on the two hijackers that lived in San Diego and who may possibly have assisted them. Even though it could consider months for the documents to be unveiled, Danny Gonzalez, a former FBI agent who labored on the operation, instructed CBS News that he’s assured two of the hijackers experienced a U.S.-based help network. 

“19 hijackers cannot commit 3,000 mass murders by themselves,” Gonzalez claimed in his initial television interview about the investigation. 

“Dependent on what you found, do you imagine there was a domestic help community for the hijackers?” CBS Information senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge questioned Gonzalez. 

“Naturally,” he mentioned. “I are not able to remark on it, but you never have to be an FBI agent with 26 years of practical experience to determine that out.” 

Gonzalez stated the two hijackers — Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar — were being helped by a variety of Saudis, which include Omar al-Bayoumi. 

Bayoumi, who was performing for the Saudi govt, has mentioned he randomly ran into the two hijackers at a restaurant in Los Angeles and urged them to go to San Diego. There, he helped them locate an apartment and open up a bank account. The two hijackers even begun flight faculty nearby. 

Gonzalez mentioned he is beneath FBI orders not to expose sure categorized information and facts about Operation Encore. As is yet another previous agent, Ken Williams, who wrote a memo in advance of 9/11 that warned potential terrorists were being getting flight lessons in Arizona. 

“The proof is there. I have viewed it. But I are unable to get into specifics due to the fact of the protective purchase,” Williams claimed. Both of those previous brokers are now functioning for the family members as investigators. 

“I cannot sit on the sidelines when I know the reality,” Gonzalez mentioned.

The 9/11 people are suing Saudi Arabia for money. The Saudis deny official involvement, and the 9/11 Fee report observed no relationship. The fee report also discovered that Bayoumi was an “unlikely candidate for clandestine involvement with Islamist extremists,” and explained there was “no credible evidence that he thought in violent extremism or knowingly aided extremist groups.”

CBS arrived at out to the Saudi embassy in Washington with issues and questioned to hear immediately from Bayoumi, amid other Saudi nationals. An embassy spokesman experienced no comment. 

Gonzalez said the community would understand “a large amount” if records from Procedure Encore — which commenced two decades just after the commission’s report — were introduced, and that it would modify the public’s knowing of 9/11. 

Brett Eagleson is leading a team of 9/11 households battling for the files to be released. He was 15 many years previous when his father, Bruce, was killed in the Planet Trade Centre South Tower — and 20 a long time later on, he claimed he desires his daughter to know the techniques of 9/11 and who killed her grandfather. 

“Your grandfather was a hero,” he advised her.

Eagleson known as Biden’s executive get a “important very first stage” but stated he remains skeptical. 

In response to the president’s choice to declassify some of the documents, the FBI claimed in a assertion that it will “keep on to function in coordination with the Office of Justice and other agencies to declassify and release documents related to the 9/11 investigation.”