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FBI Agent: The CIA Could Have Stopped 9/11

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Updated | Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, says he is “appalled” by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency’s efforts to detect and stop the plot.

Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a failed effort to crash into the U.S. Capitol, were Saudis.

A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general’s report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. It found that agency investigators "encountered no evidence" that the government of Saudi Arabia "knowingly and willingly supported" Al-Qaeda terrorists. It added that some CIA officers had “speculated” that “dissident sympathizers within the government” may have supported Osama bin Laden but that “the reporting was too sparse to determine with any accuracy such support.”

Over 30 pages relating to Saudi Arabia in the report were blacked out. The Obama administration has also refused to declassify 28 pages dealing with Saudi connections to the hijackers in a joint congressional probe of the attacks.

As has been previously reported, Rossini and another FBI agent assigned to the CTC, Doug Miller, learned in January 2000 that one of the future hijackers, an Al-Qaeda operative by the name of Khalid al-Mihdhar, had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. By mid-summer of 2001, the CIA was repeatedly warning President George W. Bush and other White House officials that an Al-Qaeda attack was imminent. But when Miller and Rossini attempted to warn FBI headquarters that al-Mihdhar could be loose in the U.S., a CIA supervisor ordered them to remain silent.

Rossini says he is “deeply concerned” by how the agency continues to suppress information related to contacts between the CIA and Saudi Arabia, particularly when the spy agency is declassifying other portions of documents to show that it did everything possible to thwart the September 11, 2001 plot.

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http://www.newsweek.com/saudi-arabia-911-cia-344693

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