FBI tap dance on FL Saudi 9/11 connection
Can only hope the conspiracy crowd doesn’t latch
on too tightly and cloud the waters. Of course there
may be some that would welcome the diversion.
FBI’s attempt to water down judicial order denied; 9/11 documents begin to flow to judge
By: Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers, April 18, 2014
A Fort Lauderdale federal judge Friday gave the FBI another week to produce tens of thousands of pages from its massive 9/11 investigation for his inspection, but forcefully denied government requests that he water down his own previous order requiring disclosure.
Hours after the order was filed, a government lawyer filed court papers saying the Justice Department had delivered “27 pages of classified material” to the court for the judge’s private, or “in camera,” inspection.
The legal developments are among a flurry of recent activity in the Freedom of Information case that was filed by BrowardBulldog.org in 2012. The suit seeks records from a once secret FBI investigation into apparent pre-9/11 terrorist activity in Sarasota.
“What’s important here is that the Justice Department was seeking wholesale reconsideration of the prior order and the judge instead issued a stern rejection of the idea that he undo what he had previously ordered,” said the Bulldog’s Miami attorney, Thomas Julin.
The investigation focused on a Saudi family with ties to the Royal family and apparent connections to some of the 9/11 hijackers and another terrorist figure who once lived in Broward. The investigation began after Abdulaziz al Hijji and his wife, Anoud, abruptly moved out of their upscale home in a gated community about two weeks before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, leaving behind cars, furniture, clothing and food in the kitchen.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: This is a very interesting case centering around the al-Hijji family that lived in a Sarasota, Florida community- just south of Tampa. In short, the original FOIA request resulted in a reply from the FBI that there really wasn’t any information of interest and what they did have, could not be released because of privacy concerns. As the legal filings went back and forth, the FBI contradicted itself repeatedly – going from claiming nothing to suddenly having 27 boxes of documents – many claimed to be not releasable because of national security concerns.
The FBI eventually did release around 30+ documents. To add to the head-scratching, the FBI stated that there were no connections found between the Saudi family and the 9/11 terrorists – BUT – within the released documents are FBI investigative notes saying there is a connection. There are also allegations the FBI kept these Florida ties from a Congressional inquiry into 9/11 – apparently there was a similar situation in California.
Can only hope the conspiracy crowd doesn’t latch on too tightly and cloud the waters. Of course there may be some that would welcome the diversion.