22:41 GMT26 January 2021
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    Families of victims of the 9/11 attacks will soon learn the name of a person with Riyadh connections who helped some of the hijackers in the US prepare for the attacks. However, a geopolitical analyst told Sputnik the divulgence will have little political impact, since the US would never purposefully torpedo its partnership with the Saudis.

    Since 2012, the 9/11 victims’ families have been fighting the US government to declassify the names of two individuals, redacted in a 2012 internal FBI document, linked to the Saudi government who helped two of the hijackers get settled once they arrived in the US to prepare for the suicide attacks. Now, Attorney General William Barr has announced he will permit the families to learn one of those names - but only under a strict vow of secrecy.

    Of the 19 al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four airliners and flew them into three buildings - the two World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon - 15 hailed from Saudi Arabia. Some of the Saudis in the US who helped them are already known, such as Fahad al-Thumairy, a former Saudi consulate official, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a person the FBI once investigated as a possible Saudi intelligence officer.

    “There is evidence that [redacted] and tasked al-Thumairy and al-Bayoumi with assisting the hijackers,” the FBI document states, according to the Washington Post.

    Sputnik reported last year that Bayoumi was receiving large amounts of cash from Princess al-Haifa bint Faisal, the wife of then-Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the daughter of King Faisal, a previous Saudi monarch, which he used to help two other members of the plot, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, get situated in the US.

    While the 9/11 Commission Report officially found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks, it noted “the likelihood” that Saudi-sponsored charities did, AP noted. Further, under a 2016 law permitting Americans to sue foreign governments for acts of terrorism, the Saudi monarchy has found itself defending its claimed inculpability in a US court.

    However, “the US alliance and geopolitical relationship with the Saudi dictatorship is far more important than justice for the families of the victims of 9/11,” international affairs and security analyst Mark Sleboda told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Friday. “It’s that simple.”

    “The US depends on a tripod relationship of the US, the terror-spawning, bloody Saudi dictatorship and Israel for control, for hegemony in the Middle East.”

    Sputnik reported that a now-declassified 1947 State Department cable between US President Harry Truman and then-Saudi monarch King Abdulaziz ibn al-Saud saw the US leader pledge that "One of the basic policies of [the] United States in [the] Near East is unqualifiedly to support [the] territorial integrity and political independence of Saudi Arabia." The message followed negotiations between ibn Saud and Truman's predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1945 that laid the basis of the US-Saudi alliance.

    Sleboda told Sputnik it was likely Barr was only releasing the name at this point “because this individual is already dead or is already on the ‘out’ from the Saudi government, and it is seen as a concession with limited amount of damage.”

    “We have to remember that maintaining the image of the Saudi dictatorship, the Saudi royal family, at an acceptable level that the US can keep doing business as usual with them, is very important. It’s not so long ago that Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman was directly implicated in the murder of a former Saudi intelligence asset and journalist, [Jamal] Khashoggi, that involved evidently carving him up wih a bonesaw in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. That damage still lingers,” he said.

    “When this comes out, you know, 18 years after the fact,” he said, noting it would likely not stay privately known for long, “it will be of limited political impact.”

    “It’s important to note that there’s a whole ream of government documents and information still being requested by these lawyers that is still being denied to them,” Sleboda noted. 

    “Today in the world, al-Qaeda is actually far stronger and more organized than it was on 9/11. They are in complete control of an entire province of Syria - largely due to the US illegally arming, training, salarying, along with its allies, sectarian militants, who have long been allied and embedded with al-Qaeda in that country,” Sleboda said, referring to the control Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham exercises over Idlib Governorate. He then read a series of headlines illustrating the idea that top US strategists and politicos had to befriend and support al-Qaeda in Syria in its struggle against Daesh.

    “It’s come full circle,” co-host Brian Becker said, noting that al-Qaeda was initially formed in 1988 in the mountains of Afghanistan as part of the Mujahideen insurgent fighters, which the US backed in the 1970s and 1980s against the Soviet-backed Afghan government and then against the Soviet Red Army itself following its 1979 intervention in that country.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    declassified, FBI, Saudi Arabia, Al-Qaeda, Omar al-Bayoumi, Saudi government, victims, September 11, Mark Sleboda, Loud and Clear
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