The BBC says that America’s special agents backed away from the bin Laden family soon after George W Bush became president. Agents were also told to back off the Saudi royals – although that changed following 9/11. The findings come from documents obtained from the FBI investigation of the US terror attacks by the Newsnight program. Saudi Arabia has transferred $500 million to Al Qaida over the past decade, according to a report prepared for the United Nations.
The papers show that despite the myth that Osama is the black sheep of the family, at least two other American-based members of it are suspected of links with a possible terrorist organization. Newsnight says it has uncovered a long history of shadowy connections between the State Department, the CIA and the Saudis. The former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah from 1987 to 1989, Michael Springman, told the program:
“In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high-level State Department officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. People who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained there. I complained here in Washington to Main State, to the Inspector General and to Diplomatic Security and I was ignored.” He added: “What I was doing was giving visas to terrorists – recruited by the CIA and Osama bin Laden to come back to the United States for training to be used in the war in Afghanistan against the then Soviets.”
The US allegedly wanted to keep the pro-American Saudi royal family in control of the world’s biggest oil spigot, even at the price of turning a blind eye to any terrorist connection – so long as America was safe. The program said the younger George Bush made his first million with an oil company partly funded by the chief US representative of Salem bin Laden, Osama’s brother, who took over as head of the family after his father Mohammed’s death in a plane crash in 1968.
According to the Washington Post, the Carlyle Group met at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in NYC one day before 9/11. In attendance at this meeting were former president George H. W. Bush and Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of Osama:
The Carlyle Group is a large private-equity investment firm, closely associated with officials of the Bush and Reagan administrations, and has considerable ties to Saudi oil money, including ties to the bin Laden family.
This morning [September 10, 2001] it is holding its annual investor conference at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. Among the guests of honor is investor Shafig bin Laden, brother of Osama bin Laden. [Observer, 6/16/2002; London Times, 5/8/2003] Former President George H. W. Bush, who makes speeches on behalf of the Carlyle Group and is also senior adviser to its Asian Partners fund [Wall Street Journal, 9/27/2001] , attended the conference the previous day, but is not there today (see (8:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Washington Post, 3/16/2003]
This documentary focuses on the relationship between former President George W. Bush and the bin Laden family.