Immediately after the terrorist incidents of September 11th 2001, the FBI conducted the largest criminal inquiry in it's history. Thousands of leads started to come into the bureau, and the Saudi link was impossible to ignore. The operation's code name, PENTTBOM, it's name stands for "Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation". The investigation was launched on September 11, 2001, and involved 4,000 special agents and 3,000 professional employees. On September 27, 2001, the FBI released photos of the 19 hijackers, along with information about the possible nationalities and aliases of many. Among the many affiliates and others who assisted logistical and financial support to the 9/11 operatives, were Saudi officials such as Fahad al-Thumairy, Omar al-Bayoumi, Osama Basnan, Musaed al-Jarrah, Sam Mustafa, Mohdhar Abdullah and Anwar al-Awlaki. Yet, much of the information from the FBI's PENNTBOM report, was classified, and names were redacted in a congressional inquiry headed by the House and Senate Select Committee, known as the "28 pages".
Years later the 9/11 victims families asked US President Donald Trump to release documents from the FBI’s investigation into the 9/11 plot, documents that the Justice Department has long fought to keep secret. Later, the families were told that Trump ordered the attorney general, William P. Barr, to release the name of a Saudi diplomat who was linked to the 9/11 plot in an FBI report years earlier. Justice Department lawyers handed over the Saudi official’s name in a protected court filing that could be read only by lawyers for the plaintiffs. But Barr dashed the families’ hopes. The full story of the FBI’s investigation into Saudi links to the 9/11 attacks has remained largely untold.
However, in 2020 Propublica in partnership with the New York Times Magazine published an article entitled "Operation Encore and the Saudi Connection: A Secret History of the 9/11 Investigation". Operation Encore, the FBI's "follow up" to PENTTBOM, where a group of FBI agents found evidence of a much larger Saudi operation which supported two known Al Qaeda operatives living inside the United States who were later involved with the 9/11 attacks. The Biden administration has declassified a 16-page FBI report tying 9/11 hijackers to Saudi nationals living in the United States. The document, written in 2016, summarized an FBI investigation into those ties called Operation Encore. In today's episode, i talk about the latest and remarkable findings under Executive Order 14040 released on September 3, 2021, which shows a larger Saudi network who collaborated with some of the 9/11 hijackers and who knew they were coming inside the United States as early as December 2000.
Operation Encore and the Saudi Connection: A Secret History of the 9/11 Investigation: