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What was the Saudi connection to 9/11?

Long Shadow

Long Lead & PRX & The Trace & Campside Media

Narrative, 9-11, History, Terrorism, Anniversary, America

4.81.8K Ratings

🗓️ 10 September 2021

⏱️ 30 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, which was also the home of al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden. In the days after September 11, dozens of his friends, family members and business associates left the U.S. on secret flights bound for The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. That has led to questions that four presidents have avoided answering:

What role did the Saudi government play in the attacks? What did it know?

Even worse, did it help?

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Awarding for listeners. Throughout this podcast, we have original audio from 9-11,


plus recreations of that day. We feel it is important for listeners to hear,


but it can also be disturbing.


President George W. Bush spent much of the morning of September 11th, 2001,


aboard Air Force One, flying far above the chaos. A White House


stenographer aboard the plane later recalled looking out at the eerie scene in the cabin,


the small group of hushed passengers trying to figure out where they were headed next,


as anxious secret service agents tried to get the latest intelligence on the attacks.


After air traffic controllers shut down the US airspace, one agent remarked that Air Force One


was the only plane in the sky. That's what I called my book in oral history on 9-11,


the only plane in the sky. But that statement isn't exactly true. For one thing,


there were a bunch of military planes accompanying Air Force One across the country that day.


There were other fighter jets out on combat air patrols over major cities like New York,


Boston, and Washington, D.C., and military cargo planes raced to the crash sites with


rescuers, investigators, and supplies. But there's another secretive flight that's raised


suspicions for decades. People often come up to me at events in Whisper, or even interrupt public


Q&A sessions to say something like this. We all know that Air Force One wasn't the only plane


in the sky. The US snuck bin Laden's family out of the country that day to help the Saudi government.


As paranoid as that may sound, it's sort of true. The US and Saudi governments have been close


allies for decades. They've bonded over a mutual hatred of communism and a love of Saudi oil.


Just two days after 9-11, the powerful Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar,


went to the White House. There, he relaxed on the Truman balcony with President Bush,


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