RealNews

Official Says Qaeda Recruited Saudi Hijackers to Strain Ties

Osama bin Laden told a top Qaeda operative to recruit Saudis for the September 2001 hijackings in an effort to strain relations between the United States and the kingdom, a Saudi official said today. Mr. bin Laden made his comments in a conversation with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the Qaeda operations chief captured earlier this year, said the official, who added that Mr. bin Laden’s statements were related to American interrogators by Mr. Mohammed. The Saudi official, who said he was told of the conversation by American officials, asserted that Mr. bin Laden approved Mr. Mohammed’s recruitment of Saudis because “they wanted to strike Saudi Arabia as much as they wanted to hit the United States.” It was not clear where or when the conversation between the men might have taken place. Mr. bin Laden is a Saudi citizen, and a number of his most ardent followers are from Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, a number of them young men recruited only a few months before the attacks. Of the four others, one was Egyptian, one Lebanese and two were from the United Arab Emirates. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.