Opinion

Sept. 11 is not out of context

September 08, 2021
Fahd Al-Deghaither



Let us briefly review what had happened in those years; I mean before and after Sept. 11, 2001 when Al-Qaida terrorists struck the United States. This is also an attempt to put Sept. 11 in its chronological context.

In 1991, Saudi Arabia revoked the citizenship of Osama Bin Laden when he refused to return to the Kingdom, and it was known at the time that he was the one who directed and supported terrorist operations from his place of residence in Sudan. In 1996, he left for Afghanistan and officially assumed the role of emir of this terrorist organization, and the name Al-Qaida appeared to us later.

In 1993, Ramzi Yousef, a Pakistani national, attempted to bring down a tower of the World Trade Center in New York by driving a medium-sized truck into the tower’s garage and blowing it up. The tower did not collapse in the explosion, but six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured, including rescue and firefighting workers and civilians.

In the following year of 1994, an attempt to blow up an Air France plane near the Eiffel Tower in Paris by the Al-Qaida terrorists from Algeria was foiled. In 1995, there was a terrorist bombing in front of a building leased by an American mission working for the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh. The four perpetrators were arrested, tried, convicted and executed. Al-Qaida once again planned and carried out this operation, with the knowledge of its leader Osama Bin Laden.

On June 25, 1996, Hezbollah carried out a truck bomb attack in front of a building used by American forces in the Eastern Province city of Al-Khobar in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 people and wounding hundreds of others.

In August 1998, the operation of what is known as Nairobi and Dar es Salaam took place, and the targets were the two US embassies in the two African capitals of Kenya and Tanzania respectively, coinciding with the eighth anniversary of the arrival of US forces in Saudi Arabia to liberate Kuwait.

Al-Qaida was the terrorist outfit that planned and carried out this operation. In October 2000, the USS Cole was targeted near the coast of Aden by Al-Qaida in Yemen, and that claimed the lives of 17 American soldiers while the ship was destroyed.

In September 2001, the New York and Washington terrorist operations occurred, for which Al-Qaida recruited 15 young Saudis in an attempt to damage Saudi-American relations, in addition to an Egyptian, Lebanese and Emirati each. The architect and mastermind of this operation was the Pakistani terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the uncle of the aforesaid Pakistani terrorist, Ramzi Yousef. The two are currently under detention in the United States.

The US Homeland Security could have stopped the plot if these security services had dealt with the CIA’s messages as it was made public and documented recently. (Watch the new documentary–“Turning Point and the war on Terror” on Netflix). But unfortunately that did not happen.

In October 2002, the Bali terrorist operation took place in Indonesia, in which 220 people were killed and thousands injured, and it was also from Al-Qaida.

In 2003-2004, dozens of terrorist bombings took place in Saudi Arabia, perpetrated by the same terror outfit, targeting security headquarters and residential compounds, killing hundreds of Saudi soldiers and civilians. Al-Qaida, through its media platforms, and with the support of Al-Jazeera channel, was boasting about these operations, with giving wide coverage to them and promising the Saudi people the imminent victory and toppling of the state.

Then there were explosions in Spain and Britain in 2006 and 2007 respectively, and in other regions of the world, planned and carried out either by Al-Qaida or those who embraced its ideology.

I am writing this article after information appeared a few days ago about the imminent disclosure of more classified pages, within the investigative report of the Congress and the American security agencies of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks, of which the Western media are now talking as if the declassification of more of this information is harmful to the Saudi government.

On the other hand, the truth is that the US government is thus fulfilling Saudi Arabia’s repeated requests for years to declassify that report and reveal all of its contents without hiding any page or line of confidence from it, and that it has nothing to be afraid of the disclosure. It was the US government agencies that prevented declassification of this information always and every time on the pretext of “security reasons.”

As is well known, no one in Washington has accused the governments of Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Iran’s militias abroad, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen or Qatar, which sheltered Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and managed to get him out of the country despite the United States’ request to extradite him.

I would say none of these countries are accused of providing any facilities for these terrorists and others who carried out these multiple operations around the world. Also, none of the victims’ relatives filed claims and compensations against any country to which the perpetrators of these operations belonged to. Only Saudi Arabia has been subjected to these suspicious moves from time to time, especially during the periods of US Presidents — Obama and Biden.

Interestingly, such allegations and their circulation in vogue until today implies that four successive presidents have been at the White House since 2001 and have read these reports in full without any deficiency, but they deliberately kept their silence and betrayed the trust and oath that they had taken before entering the White House. Is this reasonable or logical? Of course not. The reason for their silence in fact clearly means that there is no evidence that the Saudi government was involved in this heinous crime.

The obvious question remains, and most importantly, what is the motive that may push the Saudi government specifically to harm a country like the United States of America, despite these two countries have long bilateral relations and huge economic interests and trade exchanges that amounted to billions of riyals?

I wonder because, in general, and as a legal basis for inference, the lack of such a motive on the part of the Kingdom weakens the prosecution’s case and may drop charges before the courts, whether we talk about minor criminal crimes within societies or major criminal operations.


September 08, 2021
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