The classified 28-pages of the 9/11 report have made global headlines lately as a handful of lawmakers battle to release them to the public. Those pages are believed by activists and members of Congress — who have seen them — to expose the role of Saudi Arabia, including government officials, in the terrorist attacks.
But according to a new report based on years of investigative journalism, it turns out there are far more than 28 classified pages on Saudi Arabia and 9/11 — there are 80,000 kept secret by the FBI. And though not all 80,000 are expected to concern the Saudi family — and the FBI insists their investigation of the documents came up empty-handed — journalists, at least one lawmaker, and heavily-redacted documents suggest otherwise.
As the Daily Beast reported, the discovery of the 80,000 pages came when Irish investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan were contacted by an unnamed counterterrorism official in 2011. The reporters were preparing to publish a book on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks and were toldby the source that a Saudi family who had been living in Sarasota, Florida, prior to the attacks had connections to the attackers. Specifically, they were linked to Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian terrorist widely recognized as the ringleader of the attacks.
The unnamed official’s tip conflicted squarely with the FBI’s prior conclusions on that family. Abdulazzi al-Hiijjii, his wife Anoud, and their three small children lived in an upscale Sarasota community, along with Anoud’s father, Esam Ghazzawi, a financier and interior designer, who owned the home, and Ghazzawai’s American-born wife. The FBI had received multiple calls from the family’s neighbors expressing concerns over erratic behavior. Two weeks before 9/11, they left the house in a huge hurry, leaving dirty diapers and toys strewn about, a fully stocked refrigerator, and three cars in the driveway.