It’s unclear just how strong the evidence is against the former Saudi Embassy official — it’s been a subject of sharp dispute within the FBI for years.
But the disclosure, which a senior U.S. government official confirmed was made in error, seems likely to revive questions about potential Saudi links to the 9/11 plot.
“It demonstrates there was a hierarchy of command that’s coming from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs [in Los Angeles] to the hijackers.”.
Still, Eagleson acknowledged he was flabbergasted by the bureau’s slip-up in identifying the Saudi Embassy official in a public filing.
The reference is to Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, a mid-level Saudi Foreign Ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000.
But all of the FBI evidence the agents had gathered about Jarrah and his communications about the hijackers remain under seal.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, investigators quickly concluded that 15 of the 19 hijackers were of Saudi origin. »