The brother of a British 9/11 victim has accused Saudi Arabian officials of being involved in the 2001 terrorist attacks after the FBI accidentally determined that one of the Arab state’s diplomats helped the hijackers.
Rupert Cushny, 68, spoke out in favor of the 20th anniversary of the atrocities after investigators named Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah as a mysterious “third man” alleged to have aided the terrorists.
Al-Jarrah, who denies any involvement in the plot, worked at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC and is said to have ordered two people to help Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar settle when they arrived in the country prior to the attacks. .
Al-Hazmi and al-Mindhar took part in the hijacking of the American Airlines plane that flew into the Pentagon, killing 125 people.
In total, more than 3,000 people were killed in the atrocities that also saw two planes hit the Twin Towers in New York and a fourth crash in Pennsylvania.
Rupert Cushny (pictured) has accused Saudi officials of being involved in 9/11 after the FBI accidentally identified a diplomat who helped the hijackers
Investigators called Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah (pictured) a mysterious ‘third man’ who assisted the terrorists
Among the 67 British victims was Gavin Cushny, 47, an Isle of Lewis IT expert who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower, the first building to be hit.
A total of 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and the families of the victims have filed a lawsuit accusing the Riyadh government of being complicit in the attacks.
Gavin’s brother, Rupert, an author from Warlingham, Surrey, said: ‘The Saudi involvement has always been extremely strange, but I think it is extremely important that any wrongdoing is exposed to the rest of the world, particularly by Saudi Arabia. . With this name coming out, I believe it shows that the Saudis helped the hijackers.
Lawyers believe the desert kingdom financed the terror network that carried out the attacks, al-Qaeda, to prevent homegrown fundamentalists from turning against the ruling royal family.
The terror mastermind, Osama bin Laden, came from a prominent Saudi family before setting up training camps in Afghanistan.
Among the 67 British victims was 47-year-old Gavin Cushny, an IT expert from the Isle of Lewis who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower.
Rupert added: “If you look at it, it is the brutality and horrific regime of Saudi Arabia that gave birth to Osama bin Laden. It is a very repressive regime, still alive in the Middle Ages in terms of civil liberties and oppression of minorities. They happen to be incredibly rich and have a lot of oil, so we’re doing everything we can to bow to them.”
It is believed that Al-Jarrah — whose name was inadvertently omitted from court papers by an FBI official — ordered two men, Fahad al-Thumairy and Omar al-Bayoumi, to aid the hijackers.
At the time, al-Thumairy was a Saudi Islamic Affairs official and radical cleric who was the imam of the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles, and al-Bayoumi was a suspected Saudi government agent.
Lawyers representing the couple have denied involvement in the plan to assist the terrorists.
Investigators believe that when the two Pentagon hijackers arrived in California, al-Bayoumi found them a condo, lent them money and set up a bank account for them.
The Saudi government denies any involvement in the September 11 attacks and the 9/11 Commission report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually financed the atrocities.”
More than 3,000 people were killed in the atrocities in which two planes hit the Twin Towers in New York, a third the Pentagon and a fourth that crashed in Virginia
But the committee noted “the likelihood” that Saudi government-sponsored charities did.
Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families whose father was killed in the attacks, said: “This shows that Saudi involvement is being completely covered up by the government. It shows that there was a hierarchy from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs (in Los Angeles) to the hijackers.
Gavin, a former St Andrews University student, was just engaged to his American fiancée, Susan Brady, when he was murdered.
He died trying to escape via the stairwell of the north tower and his body was found two months later in the rubble, surrounded by 12 dead firefighters.
Rupert recalled seeing the drama on television, unaware that his younger brother was in one of the attacked buildings.
“I had seen him at our father’s funeral six months earlier, but I hadn’t realized where he would be working. It wasn’t until one of his best college friends called my older brother that I found out.
Al-Jarrah is suspected of providing money, shelter and aid to two of the hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar (left) and Nawaf al-Hazmi (right) who hijacked the plane that flew into the Pentagon
Al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi were two of five terrorists who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed into the Pentagon (see above)
“I assumed for a long time that I had seen my brother commit suicide without knowing it (by jumping off the building) or had gone to the top floor and not been rescued by a helicopter.
“However, Gavin was an extraordinarily brave man with a phenomenal desire for life and in early November his body was found intact except under his knees, along with another victim and 12 dead firefighters. He had managed to break out, but unfortunately not far enough’.
Last week, a friend of Gavin’s from St Andrews shared a chilling conversation she has with him after another terrorist attack on the Twin Towers seven years earlier:
Al-Jarrah is accused of directing Saudi official Fahad al-Thumairy (left) and Saudi intelligence agent Omar al-Bayoumi (right) to give shelter to the two hijackers and open a bank account for them.
Joyce Lewis said, “As we discussed it, Gavin stared up at the Twin Towers, then turned to me and said, ‘Can you believe some of the people who worked in there went down more than 80 flights of stairs?’
But in a horrific twist of fate, Gavin went to work in the Twin Towers and was the only employee of Cantor Fitzgerald to survive the blast of the planes – only to die in the stairwell trying to get out.
Al-Jarrah insisted he was not involved in the terrorist attacks and testified that he knew nothing about the two hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi before September 11.
When asked if he’d ever heard “the names” of the hijackers before the attack, he replied, “No, not at all.”
Attorney Michael Kellogg said: “The file will not support plaintiffs’ unfounded claims that al Thumairy or al Bayoumi were given or given directions to help the 9/11 hijackers.”