Newspaper logo  
 
 
   Why Were Saudi Passengers Flown Out of the Country After 9-11?

POLITICAL ANALYSIS:

Why Were Saudi Passengers Flown Out of the Country After 9-11?

by Margie Burns

Is the White House really going to pretend that five skyjackers, including the fervently devout Atta, went to Vegas--separately and together at different times--only to fit in a little gambling? And what about those Saudi Royals who were in Las Vegas on 9/11--and allowed to leave the US?
APRIL 9, 2004--Days after September 11, 2001, with commercial flights grounded throughout the United States, the Bush administration allowed select commercial jets to fly out of the country. Four manifests from these flights have been released by Craig Unger, author of the nonfiction bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud. The passenger lists are posted online.

A September 13 flight from Lexington KY to London carried 15 passengers including eight Saudis; a Las Vegas-to-Switzerland flight the next day carried seven Saudis; a "VIP flight" from New York to Paris on September 22 carried 12 passengers including four Saudis; and another Las Vegas-to-Paris VIP flight on September 24 carried 24 passengers including 11 Saudis. Some individuals who jetted away would have been "persons of interest" in any traditional investigation, and others had round-the-clock knowledge of them.

Former Clinton and Bush counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke was asked about the flights at the April 8 hearing of the 9-11 Commission. Clarke responded that "someone" in the Saudi embassy had requested that some persons be allowed to fly out and that he refused, kicking the request over to the FBI, which permitted them.

Questions abound. If Saudi royals and other Muslims feared reprisals, and were allowed to leave for their personal safety, how could that rationale have applied to British citizens Jack Rusbridge and Anthony John Stafford, on the flight out of Lexington, or to US citizen Dean Earl Knect, on the Vegas-Paris flight? Assuming that diplomatic immunity covers the 20,000-member Saud family, does it also cover family employees of other nationalities, including British and American? Why was a CEO of a Middle East bank flown out, given the importance of the "money trail" in investigating terrorism? If allowing the Saudis' servants out of the country was a humanitarian gesture, why was a prize-winning Egyptian physicist also aboard? Some family members of September 11 victims, through the Family Steering Committee, have also asked why Saudi royals and others were permitted to fly in commercial air space, when victims’ relatives were not given that permission.

Two of the flights departed from Las Vegas, where at least five of the September 11 suspects visited several times between May 2001 and August 2001. At least one suspect from each of the four planes hijacked stayed in Las Vegas. Suspected ringleader Mohamed Atta checked in at a Vegas hotel on June 29, checked out on July 1, and returned on August 13. Marwan Al-Shehhi, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Ziad Jarrah all traveled there at least once. All together, the hijackers made at least six trips to Vegas. Yet, a few days after 9-11, 31 passengers were allowed to fly out of Vegas, including one passenger named Al-Hazmi. The Saudi royals aboard were mostly adults, with only a handful of young people born in the 1980s and 1990s. At least one of these passengers, Ahmed bin Salman, the notable horse race fan and owner of a Kentucky Derby winner, died in somewhat suspicious circumstances a few months after his return home. Another passenger, a British citizen, was his longtime chauffeur and major domo, to whom Ahmed Salman gave a prize horse race in return for his services.

What were the Saudi royals and the others doing in Las Vegas? When did these officials and those connected with them go to Las Vegas, and how long did they stay there? What reason could the hijackers have had for trips to Vegas in the first place, other than to rendezvous with authorities, given that any extra movement increased their chances of getting caught? Is the White House really going to pretend that five skyjackers including the fervently devout Atta went to Vegas, separately and together at different times, only to fit in a little gambling? Was Las Vegas really just a convenient hub for the travelers? What other passengers on several other flights out were connected to these?


Margie Burns writes freelance in the DC area. She can be reached at margie.burns@verizon.net.



Copyright © 2004 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on April 9, 2004.
  
Local Gov’t Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

05.27 Teen cancer death rate causes alarm [it's from pollution, of course]

05.27 The west country cheddar maker powered by solar and cow dung

05.27 ExxonMobil is in its climate change bunker and won’t let reality in

05.26 Pollution From Canadian Oil Sands Vapor Is Substantial, Study Finds

05.26 Australia's dirtiest power station may be closed or sold, French owner says

05.26 FDA to announce whether it will approve implant for opioid addicts

05.25 Interview: CO2 'Air Capture' Could Be Key to Slowing Global Warming [Algae?]

05.25 Up against strict laws, Texas women learn do-it-yourself abortions [Is this what "conservatives" want?]

05.25 World War III will be fought over water

05.25 Coastal flooding: a sign of the damage our economy is wreaking on our fragile environment

05.25 My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn't listen

05.25 How cracking down on America's painkiller capital led to a heroin crisis [As seen in Portugal and elsewhere, physicians prescribing safer, dosage-controlled drugs to addicts would save lives and suppress illegal drug cartels]

05.24 World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned

05.24 Single-payer health care is more popular than ever. Here are 10 questions for its future.

05.24 Largest U.S. Water Reservoir Shrinks to Record Low Amid Major Drought

News Media Matters

05.27 Journalists blast NY Times for pro-Israel bias and “grotesque” distortion of illegal occupation of Palestine

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.27 Sanders to Trump: Let's Debate in 'Biggest Stadium Possible'

05.27 Sanders’ DNC platform team pushes for Palestinian rights, blasts Israeli war crimes

05.26 The Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment Is Rising

05.26 They don’t want Trump or Hillary: Half of voters would consider a third-party presidential candidate

05.26 Elizabeth Warren labels Trump 'money-grubber' who rooted for financial crash [videos]

05.26 “Come with me if you want to live”: Morning Joe panel gets weird, claims white men trust Trump to protect them from robots [governments, as yet, have no plan, policy or response to rapid robotic automation that's certain to replace millions of workers]

05.26 State Department audit finds Hillary Clinton broke agency rules with private email server

05.25 Here’s the Full List of Companies & Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

05.25 Protests at Donald Trump rally overshadow Washington primary win [1:09 video]

05.24 Disposable Americans: The Numbers are Growing

05.24 Hillary Clinton’s Energy Initiative Pressed Countries to Embrace Fracking, New Emails Reveal

05.24 Sanders names Cornel West, Keith Ellison to DNC platform committee

05.24 'I'm not with her': why women are weary of Hillary Clinton

Justice Matters

05.24 Machine Bias

05.23 #AirBnBWhileBlack and the Legacy of Brown vs. Board

High Crimes?

05.23 Attacking Doctors in Conflict Zones is a War Crime. So Why is No One Prosecuted For It?

Economics, Crony Capitalism

05.27 Revealed: 9% rise in London properties owned by offshore firms

05.27 Bernie Sanders Easily Wins the Policy Debate

05.26 Average CEO Raise Last Year Amounted to 10x What Most Workers Make in Total

05.25 The Pentagon’s War on Accountability

05.24 IMF tells EU it must give Greece unconditional debt relief

05.23 Panama Papers Confirm Miami a Disneyland for Fraud

International

05.27 Story of cities #future: what will our growing megacities really look like?

05.27 Story of cities #50: the reclaimed stream bringing life to the heart of Seoul

05.27 Riot police crack down on Paris protests against labour reforms

05.26 Is this the world’s most radical mayor?

05.26 Operation Condor conspiracy faces day of judgment in Argentina court

05.26 Brazil senate head recorded proposing to weaken bribes investigation

05.26 'There are two governments': Mexican elections held in shadow of the cartels

05.26 Foxconn replaces 60,000 humans with robots in China

05.25 Rousseff's impeachment may be about stopping a massive corruption investigation

05.25 Politicians condemn 60% foreign ownership of London skyscraper [the super-rich are pandered to while workers are demonstrably ignored]

05.25 Rockefeller reaches 100 resilient cities target, but 'work is only just beginning'

05.25 Viet Con

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: