Agrees To New Interview With US Officials
Just hours after his name was
mentioned in a Fox News interview with Attorney General John
Ashcroft Sunday, a Saudi man suspected of helping plot the
September 11th attacks has reportedly agreed to meet with US
Omar al-Bayoumi has already been extensively questioned by
authorities from a number of countries after it was discovered that
he gave shelter to two of the 9/11 hijackers in the months before
"I was on my way to Los Angeles with a friend to renew my
passport...on our way back we stopped at a restaurant and heard two
men talking. I thought they were from a Gulf country and they told
me they were from Saudi Arabia," Bayoumi said. "They lived near my
house (in the United States) for two or three weeks, then later
they moved to another place," he said.
But Ashcroft, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said new information
has come to light, which has shed new light on the relationship
between al-Bayoumi and the two hijackers.
The congressional report, some parts of which Washington is
keeping classified on grounds it could compromise intelligence,
says Bayoumi gave two of the hijackers "considerable assistance"
when they moved to San Diego. The report says Bayoumi co-signed the
hijackers' lease, paid their first month's rent and security
Here's the kicker: Bayoumi works for the Saudi Civil Aviation
Here's the question: Where did all his money come
from? Although Bayoumi was a student he had "access to seemingly
unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia," said the 9/11 report. "For
example, an FBI source identified al-Bayoumi as the person who
delivered $400,000 from Saudi Arabia for a Kurdish mosque in San
One of the FBI's best
sources in San Diego thought Bayoumi must be an intelligence
officer for Saudi Arabia or another foreign power, the report said.
It said while those findings could suggest evidence of support for
the hijackers, it was also possible further investigation could
reveal "legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these
Bayoumi said after the attacks he was questioned in Britain for
seven days and that U.S. officials were present. He said officials
searched his computers and personal files and took samples of his
saliva for DNA testing, but released him when no evidence was found
linking him to the hijacking plot. "They told me I was innocent of
any link whatsoever," Bayoumi told Al Arabiya television from the
Saudi city of Jeddah.
Senator Trent Lott, a Republican on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, told CNN he knew of no direct evidence that Saudi agents
had worked with the hijackers.