In highly unusual testimony inside the federal supermax prison, a former operative for Al Qaeda has described prominent members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family as major donors to the terrorist network in the late 1990s and claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.
The Qaeda member, Zacarias Moussaoui, wrote last year to Judge George B. Daniels of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia by relatives of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He said he wanted to testify in the case, and after lengthy negotiations with Justice Department officials and the federal Bureau of Prisons, a team of lawyers was permitted to enter the prison and question him for two days last October.
In a statement Monday night, the Saudi Embassy said that the national Sept. 11 commission had rejected allegations that the Saudi government or Saudi officials had funded Al Qaeda.
It’s important to remember that a psychiatrist once found Moussaoui to be a paranoid schizophrenic. But there is reason to believe that he was faking it.
Also interesting, from the same story:
Also filed on Monday in the survivors’ lawsuit were affidavits from former Senators Bob Graham of Florida and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and the former Navy secretary John Lehman, arguing that more investigation was needed into Saudi ties to the 9/11 plot. Mr. Graham was co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the attacks, and Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Lehman served on the 9/11 Commission.
“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” wrote Mr. Graham, who has long demanded the release of 28 pages of the congressional report on the attacks that explore Saudi connections and remain classified.
Mr. Kerrey said in the affidavit that it was “fundamentally inaccurate and misleading” to argue, as lawyers for Saudi Arabia have, that the 9/11 Commission exonerated the Saudi government.
Read the whole thing. And check this out from the website of 28pages.org, an organization dedicated to compelling the release of the section of the 9/11 Commission Report that President Bush redacted:
President George W. Bush censored 28 pages of this report—an entire section said to describe the involvement of specific foreign governments in the attacks. After reading it, Congressman Thomas Massie described the experience as “disturbing” and said, “I had to stop every two or three pages and rearrange my perception of history…it’s that fundamental.”
Whether or not Moussaoui is crazy, the American public deserves to see those 28 pages. We deserve to know if the Saudis did this to us.