Freshly released but heavily censored FBI documents include tantalizing new information about events connected to the Sarasota Saudis who moved suddenly out of their home about two weeks before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, leaving behind clothing, jewelry and cars.
documents were released to BrowardBulldog.org Monday amid ongoing
Freedom of Information Act litigation. The news organization sued in
2012 after being denied access to the FBI’s file on a once-secret
investigation focusing on Abdulaziz al-Hijji, his wife, Anoud, and her
father, Esam Ghazzawi, an advisor to a Saudi prince.
An FBI letter
accompanying the documents, the fourth batch to be released since the
lawsuit was filed, cites national security and other reasons to justify
why certain information was withheld. The letter does not explain why the documents were not previously acknowledged to exist.
One FBI report, dated April 3, 2002, recounts a chilling discovery
made by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office on Halloween 2001.
were called after a man with a Tunisian passport was observed disposing
of items in a dumpster behind a storage facility he had rented in
The man’s name is blanked out, but the report says
authorities who searched the dumpster found “a self-printed manual on
terrorism and Jihad, a map of the inside of an unnamed airport, a
rudimentary last will and testament, a weight to fuel ratio calculation
for a Cessna 172 aircraft, flight training information from the Flight
Training Center in Venice [Fla.] and printed maps of Publix shopping
centers in Tampa Bay.”