Former FBI agent who worked on 9/11 investigation says two Saudi hijackers had ...

Former FBI agent who worked on 9/11 investigation says two Saudi hijackers had ...
Former FBI agent who worked on 9/11 investigation says two Saudi hijackers had ...

A former FBI agent who worked on an investigation into the 9/11 attacks says two of the hijackers likely had help in the US.

Danny Gonzalez was involved in the still-classified FBI investigation 'Operation Encore,' which looked into two of the hijackers living in San Diego before the attacks, and whether they had help.

He says he believes the attackers had relied on a US-based support network.

The revelation comes on the heels of an executive order signed Friday by President Joe Biden, directing the Department of Justice to declassify some documents related to the attacks at the behest of families and survivors affected by the tragedy on the eve of its 20th anniversary. 

The families are suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for what they believe was the country's official involvement in the attacks, and say the documents could provide evidence in the suit. 

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The kingdom has denied it had anything to do with the attacks. Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi citizens. 

Some of the records flagged for release include those pertaining to 'Encore.'  

Former FBI agent Danny Gonzalez (pictured) says two of the 9/11 hijackers he had helped investigate likely had help in the US from a support network of Saudi citizens. The pair were the subject of an investigation called 'Operation Encore.'

Former FBI agent Danny Gonzalez (pictured) says two of the 9/11 hijackers he had helped investigate likely had help in the US from a support network of Saudi citizens. The pair were the subject of an investigation called 'Operation Encore.'

Nawaf al-Hazmi was one of two 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego in the leadup to the attacks

Khalid al-Mihdhar

Nawaf al-Hazmi (left,) and Khalid al-Mihdhar were the 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego in the leadup to the attacks, and were investigated by the FBI after the attacks as part of 'Operation Encore.'

'19 hijackers cannot commit 3,000 mass murders by themselves,' Gonzalez told CBS News

'Operation Encore' investigated Saudis Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khlaid al-Mihdhar, who moved to San Diego in January 2001. They were two of the five hijackers who flew planes into the Pentagon. 

Gonzales says he believes the pair were helped by a US-based network of Saudis, including Omar al-Bayoumi. 

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Bayoumi was working for the Saudi government when he said he randomly ran into the two at a restaurant in LA, and helped them move to San Diego, where he aided them in finding an apartment and opening a bank account. 

Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar also started flight school nearby. 

Bayoumi was the subject of a previous FBI investigation which had been closed at that point.

The two were among the five hijackers who helped fly planes into the Pentagon (pictured) on September 11

The two were among the five hijackers who helped fly planes into the Pentagon (pictured) on September 11

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday that ordered a review of the classified documents related to the 9/11 terror attacks. Some of the documents pertain to 'Operation Encore'

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday that ordered a review of the classified documents related to the 9/11 terror attacks. Some of the documents pertain to 'Operation Encore' 

He had been noted in the 9/11 Commission Report, as an 'unlikely candidate for  clandestine involvement with Islamist extremists,'  which also said that there was 'no credible evidence that he believed in violent extremism or knowingly aided extremist groups.'

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