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Tuesday, February 19, 2008
 

FBI Document: California Resident Who Helped 9/11 Hijackers Was Closely Linked To Saudi Government

By J.M. Berger
INTELWIRE.com


An FBI memo details the phone records of Omar Al Bayoumi, a Saudi citizen who assisted hijackers Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi in relocating to San Diego in early 2000. Bayoumi helped them find an apartment and pay their rent and introduced them to people in the local community.

Bayoumi also kept in close contact with his apparent employer, the Saudi government. The exact nature of Bayoumi's employment has remained unclear, but numerous associates suspected him of being a Saudi intelligence officer.

Read the document: 2002-04-15: FBI Letterhead Memorandum, Omar Al Bayoumi Contacts With Saudi Government

According to the memo, local mosque members "believed there was always a covert employee of the Saudi Arabian government stationed at the mosque," and that Bayoumi may have been that person.

Bayoumi was "employed by the Saudi government to monitor the activities of Saudi dissidents that resided in the U.S.," the memo states, according to "a prominent Islamic leader in San Diego."

Other FBI interviewees said Bayoumi was "an employee of the Saudi Arabian Government (who) traveled to mosques throughout the world to monitor and observe Saudi citizens for signs of dissident behavior."

Another source said Bayoumi "was connected with a Saudi Arabian company that is equivalent to the Federal Aviation Administration," and said he was paid $5,000 a month to be a student.

The memo below details Bayoumi's phone contacts with the Saudi government over slightly less than two months in 2000, around the time the hijackers arrived in San Diego. Phone records revealed Bayoumi called local Saudi officials, including the consulate in San Diego, 34 times. He called Saudi officials in Washington D.C. 141 times in the same period, according to the memo -- more than twice a day on average.

Calls appear to be directed to the Saudi Cultural Mission, the Saudi Education Mission, the Saudi Embassy in Washington, the Saudi Consulate in San Diego, the Saudi National Guard, and the Saudi Islamic Affairs Department.

Although the notation is unclear due to FBI redactions, it also appears Bayoumi called a U.S. Department of State diplomat.

Extensive portions of the document were redacted by the FBI, including substantial portions of FBI interviews with Saudi government officials who had contact with Bayoumi.

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ABOUT

INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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