The FBI had also received unverified reports that Osama Bassnan, a close associate of al-Bayoumi, was a Saudi intelligence operative. Bassnan “told an FBI asset that he did more for the hijackers than al-Bayoumi did,” the report states. The FBI believed him to be a supporter of bin Laden and Eritrean Islamic Jihad.
Bassnan had many ties to the Saudi government, including past employment at the Saudi Arabian Education Mission. According to a CIA memo referenced in the report, Bassnan received financial aid from the former Saudi ambassador to the United States Bandar bin Sultan.
“On at least one occasion,” the report says, “Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar’s account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan’s wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar.”
The documents also show that Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah had the telephone number for a corporation that managed the “affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar” in his personal phone book.
The report lists several other pieces of circumstantial evidence for potential Saudi involvement, none of which establish complicity at the upper echelons of the Saudi government.