Former DEA Agent Details How the CIA Concealed Identity of Two 9/11 Hijackers Granted Visas to the U.S. From the FBI
Dan Christensen, an investigative reporter and editor of the Florida Bulldog, has written an important article on the CIA’s concealment of the identities of two alleged hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, from the FBI.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media and alternative media have mostly ignored this story to date.
Christensen cites a sworn declaration, dated July 20, 2021, by Donald Canestraro, a former DEA agent and investigator for the Office of Military Commissions, Military Commissions Defense Organization of the Department of Defense. He is also part of the defense team for Ammar al-Baluchi who is a nephew of and co-defendant with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the alleged “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks.
Per Christensen, government documents allege that al-Baluchi transferred tens of thousands of dollars from banks in Dubai to a SunTrust Bank account in Florida jointly owned by 9/11 hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Mohamed Atta.
In 2016, Canestraro stated that he investigated the possible involvement that Saudi Arabia and the CIA had in the events leading up to 9/11. Christensen writes Canestraro’s initial review of discovery documents provided by the government to the defense focused on Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy.
Bayoumi was an alleged Saudi intelligence officer who had numerous contacts with Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar and helped them obtain an apartment in San Diego. Thumairy was a Saudi consular official in Los Angeles and a local religious leader who was allegedly sympathetic to al-Qaeda.
Christensen states that Bayoumi, Thumairy, and Musaed al-Jarrah, who was the deputy head of Islamic Affairs at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, are named as “principal subjects” of the FBI’s Operation Encore, which was an FBI investigation into the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement with the hijackers.
In 2016, the Florida Bulldog obtained an October 2012 FBI report through Freedom of Information Act litigation. Christensen writes that “the report says Jarrah ‘tasked’ Bayoumi and Thumairy with helping the hijackers.” Operation Encore examines the financial and logical support that Saudi officials gave to Hazmi and Mihdhar.
Background on Hazmi and Mihdhar
In January 2000, Hazmi and Mihdhar attended an al-Qaeda terrorist meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with other al-Qaeda operatives, such as Walid bin Attash (Khallad), who is the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in 2000.
Per the Joint Inquiry Report, the CIA photocopied Mihdhar’s passport, which gave them his full name, birth information and passport number for the first time, and alerted them that he held an entry visa to the United States.
Al-Mihdhar was the son-in-law of Ahmed al-Hada, who fought in Afghanistan for the Mujahadeen with Osama bin Laden and ran the al-Qaeda communications hub in Yemen. The CIA also learned the identity of Nawaf al-Hazmi at around the same time.
After the Malaysia summit, Hazmi and Mihdhar entered the United States on January 15, 2000.
The CIA knew in March 2000 that Hazmi and Mihdhar had U.S. visas and had entered the U.S. but chose not to notify the FBI. However, FBI agents assigned to the CIA’s Bin Laden Station, ALEC Station, wanted to notify the FBI, but ALEC Station refused to allow them to notify the FBI.
ALEC Station’s rationale for not informing the FBI was that the next al-Qaeda attack would be in Southeast Asia. At this time, the CIA failed to watchlist al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. A CIA analyst at ALEC Station falsely stated in an internal CIA communication that the FBI was notified of Hazmi and Mihdhar’s travel to the U.S.
In the United States, Hazmi and Mihdhar received financial and logistical support from Saudi officials such as Bayoumi and Thumairy. Hazmi and Mihdhar lived with an FBI informant and took flight lessons. They also associated with cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011 and Osama Basnan, a former Saudi Embassy employee who was suspected of being a supporter of Osama bin Laden.
However, the FBI did not learn about Hazmi and Mihdhar’s presence in the United States until late August 2001 and were unsuccessful in finding them before the 9/11 attacks.
Overview of Canestraro Declaration
Canestraro interviewed a 9/11 Commission investigator identified as (CS-1) who interviewed Thumairy in 2003 in Saudi Arabia regarding his connection to Hazmi, Mihdhar, and Bayoumi. CS-1 stated that Thumairy was less than 100% forthcoming in his answers and seemed to react when questioned about his relationship with Bayoumi. CS-1 also stated that Thumairy spoke fluent English but, when asked a controversial question, he asked that the question be translated into Arabic. Thumairy stated that he worked for the Saudi Department of Religious Affairs.
Omar al-Bayoumi and Zelikow’s Undermining of the 9/11 Commission Investigation
Canestraro interviewed a 9/11 Commission investigator identified as (CS-2), who was responsible for investigating possible Saudi government links to the 9/11 attacks. CS-2 stated that 9/11 Commission Staff Director Philip Ze
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