On Breitbart News Sunday, Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy offered his analysis of the long-suppressed “28 Pages” from the 9/11 Commission report dealing with Saudi Arabia.
“What it really is, in my view, is the beginning of sorting out what built the terrorist infrastructure in the United States,” he said. “So you have the FBI, and the CIA, and they’re looking at the movement of the 9/11 hijackers through the country, and again and again, they’re seeing ties to Saudi nationals who repeatedly have jobs for the Saudi government, or Saudi defense contractors. They’re getting money from them, the Saudis. And it’s not real clear what they do.”
“The FBI has informants telling them, we’re pretty sure these guys are Saudi intelligence officers,” he continued. “So these Saudi intelligence officers are sort of with these two 9/11 hijackers as they’re in San Diego, up through Los Angeles, eventually when they transition to Virginia prior to the plot. And all along the way, one of these individuals – and the report names essentially five of them – is essentially shadowing them the entire time.”
SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon said the 28 Pages reveal “the Saudis have a fifth column in this country, of intelligence officers, and a network of financing people who don’t have the best interests of the United States in mind.”
“Well, it’s certainly facilitation, and facilitation for what?” Shideler responded. “The report doesn’t say. We know that this one Saudi intelligence officer, Bayoumi, meets with the two hijackers in San Diego. He helps the two hijackers get connected with the Islamic Center of San Diego – which is a mosque in San Diego, which the report suggests the Saudi government or Saudi nationals were using to finance al Qaeda, through a money laundering scheme involving Somali non-profit organizations.”
“And so Bayoumi hooks these two hijackers into that network, which then provides drivers licenses, jobs, apartments, leases – all the things they need to survive,” he continued. “We’ve got gentlemen throwing parties for the Blind Sheikh. They’re helping these radicals, if you want to use that term, move openly in and about the country.”
Shideler said he wasn’t entirely surprised by the information contained in the 28 Pages.
“You sort of see the germinating moment of a number of what would be major terrorism cases, after 2003, 2004,” he said. “You see one of these Saudi intelligence officers has ties to the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Hamas terror finance trial in American history – a major trial that unveiled a number of terrorist infrastructures in the U.S., Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in the U.S. You see references to the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, another major al Qaeda financing charity.”
“So you see these little snippets in the 28 Pages, that would go on to be major terror cases,” Shideler summarized. “And in every case, right alongside them, there’s some kind of Saudi actor.”
“The report notes that the Saudi nationals, and suspected Saudi intelligence officers, they weren’t being watched,” he noted. “They weren’t being watched closely, because they were viewed, essentially, as allies. We weren’t watching them the way we may have watched, say, an Iranian agent or a Soviet agent in the Cold War. We weren’t watching them with that level of scrutiny, and so they were essentially slipping one past the goalie here, by building a major infrastructure, in order to facilitate indoctrinating and committing terrorist acts.”
Shidleler said the 28 Pages had to be “extremely embarrassing, both for the Clinton and Bush Administrations,” which could be one reason they were kept secret for so long.
“You have direct references to Prince Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States, a very close relationship with the Bush family for a long time – but you have Bandar providing direct money to some of these intelligence officers,” he said. “You have his bodyguards taking calls, leaving phone numbers related to his residences in the possession of captured al Qaeda officers.”
Bannon noted that Prince Bandar was so close to the Bush family that he was often referred to as “Bandar Bush,” reputedly a guest at the Bush White house on numerous occasions.
“This is part of the reason why reports like this were suppressed,” Shideler said. “What you’re looking at is, you’re looking at the building of infrastructure, and the connection between government, and intelligence, and non-profits, and mosques, and Islamic centers. And it’s all happening at this high infrastructure level.”
He compared it to the popular TV series “The Wire,” in which one of the characters said, “If you follow drugs, you get drugs. If you follow money, you don’t know what you’re gonna get.”
“That’s why I think government officials, our leaders, have always been very recalcitrant about conducting these kinds of investigations, because ultimately you’re gonna lead back to people who are important, people that do major business, companies that bank for major American companies,and these sorts of things. And there’s a real recalcitrance about dealing with that,” Shideler said. “They far prefer to keep the issue small, target this entity or this individual, but let’s not look at the guy behind the curtain, because that guy embarrasses everybody.”
“We really need to go back to this 28 Pages,” he urged. “This 28 pages is a sort of snapshot of American counter-terrorism after 9/11. We had seriously been shocked. We said we have to double down, we have to do serious work. And after 9/11, what did we do? We targeted charities that funded terrorism. We cracked down on organizations that were recruiting, and indoctrinating, and funding.”
“We don’t have any of this now,” he warned. “There was a report in Bloomberg News that since Obama took office, there has not been a single Islamic charity designated or shut down for terrorism offense. Now, do you believe that’s because they stopped? My research hasn’t shown that. I found a number of organizations that still have ties to some of these same networks. In fact, they not only haven’t been shut down, they get government money in some cases.”
Breitbart News Sunday airs live weekly from 7 to 10 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125.