Edit ModuleShow Tags

Terror Two Years After


(page 3 of 3)

San Diego–based attorney Jeremy Warren says Basnan “loved this country” and calls Basnan’s persecution a witch hunt. Interestingly, Warren, who rejects Newsweek’s report that Basnan was celebrating the acts of 9/11, also happened to be on the Saudi government’s payroll. Saudi officials paid Warren to defend two Saudi students in a test-taking scam involving 130 Saudi and other Middle Eastern men who wanted to attend school in the United States. Warren declined to discuss the payment from Saudi officials, but a court document reveals a $50,000 cash payment from the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles to Warren for an attorney-client trust account.

Warren says Basnan and Al-Bayoumi were not close. But that, too, was clearly not the case. They were neighbors at the Parkwood Apartments in Clairemont—where the hijackers also lived. Prior to that, Basnan and his wife and Al-Bayoumi and his wife were neighbors in another apartment complex nearby. Also, Basnan’s wife and Al-Bayoumi’s wife were arrested together for shoplifting at J.C. Penney’s in Fashion Valley in April 2001.

Getting to the Bottom of 9/11

The San Diego FBI office’s apparently lukewarm pursuit of the local Saudi connections to 9/11 seemed evident late last year. That’s when former San Diego FBI chief Bill Gore retired to join the staff of newly elected San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. At that time, Gore didn’t even know where Al-Bayoumi was.

In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, conducted before Gore retired from the bureau, he said he believed Al-Bayoumi was still in England. At that time, several independent sources were already saying that Al-Bayoumi had been back in Saudi Arabia for several months. When Gore’s error was pointed out to another FBI agent here, the agent conceded Gore had erred, adding, “He can’t be expected to know every detail of every investigation.” (Gore refused to comment to San Diego Magazine.)

Some critics say the United States’ lack of aggressiveness in following the terrorists’ money trail back to Saudi Arabia has to do with American interests in that country and with the Bush administration’s longstanding relationship with the Saudi royal family. Others suggest the soft-glove treatment is because of our need for Saudi support in the war against Iraq, which some say was in the planning stages virtually as soon as President Bush was elected.

Others suspect that Vice President Dick Cheney’s interest in the Halliburton company, which also has a high stake in the Middle East, has something to do with the way we are treating the Saudis. Halliburton is, in fact, profiting from wartime contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cheney, who was Halliburton’s CEO until he stepped down to become Bush’s running mate in the 2000 presidential race, still draws compensation of up to a million dollars a year from the company. Cheney’s spokesperson has denied the White House helped the company win the lucrative contract in Iraq.

Whatever the case, government spokesmen in Saudi Arabia emphatically deny that al Qaeda is supported in any way by officials there. U.S officials, too, have repeatedly dismissed any Saudi government role in the 9/11 attack, calling the country a “good partner in the war on terrorism.”

Meanwhile, a $1 trillion federal lawsuit filed by relatives of the September 11 victims accuses members of the Saudi royal family, the Saudi government and Saudi banks and businesses of financing the plot. Those American families are unlikely to ever see a dime from Saudi defendants, however. If there is any official Saudi connection to the greatest tragedy in American history—and the best clues might be found right here in San Diego—it may never come to light.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

How to Care for a ZZ Plant

January Newland of Wild Island Collective fills out our tip sheet

Local Roots Brings Hard Kombucha To North County

The Vista-based kombucha brewery is booming

Angelo Sosa leaves Death by Tequila, San Diego Gets SoCal’s First Native American-Owned Brewery

After a long holiday break, Hot Plates returns
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Best Chicken Wings In San Diego
    The results of food critic Troy Johnson’s epic quest for the city’s best tiny chicken
  2. San Diego's Best New Restaurants of 2019
    From a 200 million-dollar renovation project to a dirty little burger, these made a dent
  3. The Must-Try Dishes of 2019
    SD Mag food critic and Food Network judge Troy Johnson names his top dishes of the year
  4. Video: A Peek At Our Insiders Club
    For members only…New perks, insider info and access to the editors
  5. The SoCal (Social Calendar!)
    From black-tie galas to costumed 5Ks, these events will keep your social calendar full—and you feeling good
  6. Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve in San Diego 2020
    Whether you’re celebrating the end of a decade or the beginning of a new one, these are fine choices of venue.
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles

October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Come See What’s New in Palm Springs

This SoCal city is constantly reinventing the landscape with new places to stay and play

Win Tickets to the 42nd Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

This year’s USC vs. Iowa match-up marks the Holiday Bowl’s third straight paring of teams that are ranked nationally in the top 25
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags