History Commons Groups

September 2, 2010

9/11 Commission Documents about the US Embassy in Riyadh


This post lists all the documents we are finding in the 9/11 Commission’s archives about the US Embassy in Riyadh, at which four visas were issued to the 9/11 hijackers.The documents have been posted at the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I am reading through the commission’s documents gradually and highlighting interesting information. This post will be updated if I find any more information related to the embassy.

A memo of a February 2003 State Department inspector general interview of a consular officer who issued a visa to 9/11 hijacker Satam al Suqami in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November 2000. The officer says that she did interview al Suqami and recalls his photo, although the 9/11 Commission later suggested she did not interview him. She also says she later helped develop the Visa Express programme. The officer may be Elizabeth Colton, the Vice Consul in Riyadh at this time.

Another version of the memo with a page missing.

A memo of a January 2003 State Department inspector general interview of a consular officer who issued a visa to 9/11 hijacker Hamza Alghamdi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October 2000. The consular officer says there were hits in the consular database, but that they were for people with similar names and different dates of birth. The officer says he did not interview Alghamdi and he probably would have given him a visa even if he had.

Another version of the document with slightly different redactions.

A memo of a January 2003 State Department inspector general interview of a female consular officer who issued visas to 9/11 hijackers Mohand Alshehri and Majed Moqed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October and November 2000. She says that there were “hits” the in the consular database for the two men, but she determined these were for similar people, not Alshehri and Moqed. She did not interview them.

Another version of the document with slightly different redactions.

A list of 28 questions put by the US State Department Inspector General to the various consular officers who issued visas to the 9/11 hijackers.

Notes on a June 2002 telephone conversation with a State Department official about the number of US consular positions worldwide.

Withdrawal notices from the 9/11 Commission’s files, one for a telephone directory for the US embassy in Abu Dhabi, the other for a list of consular staff at the US embassies in Riyadh and Berlin.

The masterlist for all documents the 9/11 Timeline has obtained and is analysing can be found here.

February 28, 2010

9/11 Commission Documents about the US Consulate in Jeddah (updated 13 April 2010)


This post lists all the documents we are finding in the 9/11 Commission’s archives about the US Consulate in Jeddah, at which numerous visas were issued to the 9/11 hijackers.The documents have been posted at the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I am reading through the commission’s documents gradually and highlighting interesting information. This post will be updated if I find any more information related to the consulate.

(more…)

February 5, 2010

Let Them Fly – Case of Undie Bomber Revealed (updated)


I can’t say I’m a big fan of the World Socialist Web Site, but they’ve got a real scoop here. They take a Detroit News article that reveals:

The State Department didn’t revoke the visa of foiled terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab because federal counterterrorism officials had begged off revocation, a top State Department official revealed Wednesday.

Patrick F. Kennedy, an undersecretary for management at the State Department, said Abdulmutallab’s visa wasn’t taken away because intelligence officials asked his agency not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would’ve foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States.

“Revocation action would’ve disclosed what they were doing,” Kennedy said in testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security. Allowing Adbulmutallab to keep the visa increased chances federal investigators would be able to get closer to apprehending the terror network he is accused of working with, “rather than simply knocking out one solider in that effort.”

And run with it. Read the whole thing.

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