Unsealed video implicates Saudi government in 9/11 attacks

Saudi complicity and involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks was suspected from the outset, but the wars they led to—invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, wars against the Al-Qaeda terrorists who executed the attacks, legislation against civil liberties and privacy protections in the U.S. and across the West—made the suggestion of government involvement by an ally too inconvenient to openly discuss. Even 23 years later, video unsealed in federal court this week and obtained by 60 Minutes is as inconvenient as it ever was.

For more than two decades, the U.S. position has been that al Qaeda acted alone on September 11th, but a newly public video has raised questions about whether the Saudi government provided crucial assistance to the hijackers during the 9/11 terror attacks.

Omar al-Bayoumi, whom the FBI says was an operative of the Saudi intelligence service with close ties to two of the 9/11 hijackers, can be heard on the video, which was unsealed in federal court this week and obtained by 60 Minutes. The 1999 video was taken within 90 days of the time when senior al Qaeda planners were deciding on 9/11 targets, Richard Lambert, a retired FBI agent who led the initial 9/11 investigation in San Diego, said.

"It is another very large brick in a massive wall of evidence that at this point indicates the Saudi government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks," Lambert said.

The implication is that the attacks were financed and organized by a faction within the sprawling Saudi royal family and its service class. Even the steeple-fingered serious thinkers are coming around to this perspective [The Atlantic]; we're at that magic threshold where the entire political and media class suddenly claims to have known this all along, despite treating it mostly as conspiracy theory or cynical naivete until at least the late 2010s.

In 2024, a federal judge in Manhattan is expected to rule anytime now on Saudi Arabia's appeal to toss a lawsuit against the Kingdom, lawyers have obtained a video that allegedly shows a Saudi suspect "casing the Capitol" in the summer of 1999, pointing out where Congress sits. Supposedly, there is also a companion sketchbook painstakingly shows "an aviator's algorithm on how to hit a target on the horizon when flying a plane."

He credits British officials for obtaining both pieces of "incredible" evidence and retired FBI agents for assisting 9/11 families who refuse to give up on seeking justice nearly 23 years after the ruthless kamikaze jet attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pa.

Federal Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York now holds the key to this case. The judge must decide whether this lawsuit against Saudi Arabia moves ahead or is forever thwarted.

Al-Bayoumi stated that he didn't know anything about the hijackers' plans and just befriended them after randomly meeting them. Saudi Arabia stated that al-Bayoumi was not an agent of theirs.

We could have financed true modern moonshots with the economic potential available to us at the end of the 20th century—sovereign wealth funds, sustainable universal healthcare and education, space exploration, energy research—but we had better things to blow $8 trillion on.