After a prolonged investigation, particular counsel Robert Mueller charged Russia made “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election” and mentioned the incursion “deserves the attention of every American.”
But former FBI investigators say their previous boss didn’t really feel the identical concern after they uncovered a number of, systemic efforts by the Saudi authorities to help the hijackers in the lead-up to the 9/11 assaults — a much more consequential, to say nothing of lethal, international affect operation on America.
As the pinnacle of the FBI on the time, they are saying Mueller was not almost as in investigating that espionage conspiracy, which additionally concerned international intelligence officers. Far from it, the file exhibits he coated up proof pointing again to the Saudi Embassy and Riyadh — and could have even misled Congress about what he knew.
9/11 victims agree. “He was the grasp when it got here to overlaying up the dominion’s role in 9/11,” mentioned survivor Sharon Premoli, who was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center 18 years in the past.
“In October of 2001, Mueller shut down the government’s investigation after only three weeks, and then took part in the Bush administration’s campaign to block, obfuscate and generally stop anything about Saudi Arabia from being released,” added Premoli, now a plaintiff in the 9/11 lawsuit in opposition to Saudi Arabia.
In truth, Mueller threw up roadblocks in the trail of his personal investigators working the 9/11 case, whereas making it simpler for Saudi suspects to flee questioning, a number of case brokers advised me. Then he deep-sixed what proof his brokers did handle to uncover, in accordance with the 9/11 lawsuit in opposition to the Saudis.
- Time and once more, brokers have been referred to as off from pursuing leads again to the dominion’s embassy in Washington, in addition to its consulate in Los Angeles, the place former FBI Agent Stephen Moore headed a 9/11 activity power trying into native contacts made by two of the 15 Saudi hijackers, Moore testified in an affidavit for the 9/11 lawsuit. He concluded that “diplomatic and intelligence personnel of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two hijackers and facilitated the 9/11 plot.” Yet he and his group weren’t allowed to interview them, in accordance to the suit.
- In Washington, former FBI Agent John Guandolo, who labored terror circumstances out of the bureau’s DC workplace, mentioned then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar “should have been treated as a terrorist suspect” for giving cash to a lady who funded two of the 9/11 hijackers. But he was by no means questioned both, Guandolo mentioned.
- Instead, Mueller obliged what Guandolo referred to as an “outrageous request” from Bandar inside days of the assaults to assist evacuate from the nation dozens of Saudi officers, together with a minimum of one Osama bin Laden relative on the phobia watch listing. Mueller assured their protected passage to planes, utilizing brokers as private escorts, in accordance with FBI paperwork obtained by Judicial Watch. Agents who ought to have been interrogating the Saudis as an alternative acted as their bodyguards.
- In 2002, Mueller prevented brokers from arresting the Saudi-sponsored al Qaeda cleric who privately recommended the Saudi hijackers, mentioned Raymond Fournier, an agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego on the time. “He was responsible for vacating the arrest warrant for Anwar al-Awlaki for passport fraud,” Fournier mentioned. He even ordered brokers who detained the fiend at JFK to launch him into the custody of a “Saudi representative,” Fournier mentioned. The FBI closed their investigation of Awlaki, who was allowed to go away the US on a Saudi aircraft. “Shortly thereafter, the Fort Hood shooting occurred and Awlaki’s fingerprints were all over that incident,” mentioned former FBI Agent Michael Biasello, who helped work the Texas terror case.
- At the identical time, Mueller eliminated a veteran agent from investigating a tip that an adviser to the Saudi royal household had met with among the Saudi hijackers at his residence in Sarasota, Fla., successfully killing the case, in accordance with the lawsuit. The residence was abruptly deserted two weeks earlier than 9/11.
- Mueller even tried to close down a congressional investigation into the Saudi hijackers and their contacts in LA and San Diego, mentioned Bob Graham, who led the joint inquiry as Senate Intelligence Committee chair. “The strongest objections” to his employees investigators visiting FBI workplaces there got here from the FBI director himself, mentioned Graham, in a 2017 interview with Harper’s journal. Among different issues, Mueller refused their calls for to query a paid FBI informant who roomed with the hijackers and even moved him to a protected home the place they couldn’t discover him, Graham mentioned. Mueller, with the White House, redacted 28 pages detailing Saudi-9/11 ties from the congressional report.
- He additionally gave testimony to Congress that was, on the very least, deceptive. In an October 2002 closed-door listening to, Mueller claimed he discovered about Saudi-9/11 connections solely on account of the joint inquiry’s investigative work: “[S]ome facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before.” Only, Moore mentioned he gave Mueller “daily” briefings on such connections in 2001. Mueller additionally testified the hijackers “contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States,” regardless that the FBI’s personal case recordsdata confirmed that they had contact with a minimum of 14 terrorist suspects and sympathizers in the US previous to 9/11, together with some working for the Saudi authorities. (In later testimony, he tried to stroll this again, insisting he “had no intent to mislead.”)