Is it a conspiracy or a coincidence? There is a
long and tangled history between the Bush family
and the elite of Saudi Arabia.
are many business and connections between
the Bush family and the elite of Saudi Arabia.
It begins in the 1970's in Houston,
Texas, when George W. Bush was just starting out
in his family's two businesses of politics and oil.
The powerful - and very rich - Bin Laden family
helped fund his first venture into oil.
The cozy friendship continued for
decades. After a terrorist attack at a barracks
in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 Americans, the bin
Laden family received a multi-billion dollar contract
to re-build. And incredibly, George Bush Sr. was
in a business meeting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel
in Washington on the morning of September 11th with
one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers.
Below is a timeline that details the relationship
between the Bin Laden and Bush families that culminates
in the tragic events of September 11th.
George W. Bush joins the Texas Air National Guard,
a coveted position that ensures he doesn't
have to serve in Vietnam. While a member of the
Guard, Bush meets and befriends Jim Bath, a former
Air Force pilot and budding entrepreneur.
George H. W. Bush becomes director of the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA). During his tenure, Bush
helps provide training for the Saudi royal family's
palace guard, cementing a relationship that proves
critical to the Bush family's fortunes. Bush
also privatizes various CIA assets, with Bath considered
one of the beneficiaries because of his involvement
in the aircraft business. Bath will later tell a
business associate he works for the CIA and was
recruited by Bush Sr.
Salem Bin Laden, older brother
to future al Qaeda leader Osama, enters into a trust
agreement with Jim Bath, whereby Bath will act as
the bin Laden family's representative in North
America, investing money in various business ventures.
Bath also becomes the business representative of Khalid
bin Mahfouz, a member of Saudi Arabia's most
powerful banking family and owners of the National
Commercial Bank, the principal bank of the Saudi royal
Bath is alleged to be the link between the
Bin Laden and Bush families.
Charles W. "Bill" White,
a former Annapolis graduate and US Navy pilot, graduates
from Harvard's business school. He is then
introduced to Jim Bath who is looking for someone
to manage his real estate company. Bath hires White
as his partner. Money from the bin Laden and bin
Mahfouz families is invested in Bath's real
estate company. Among other things, Bath buys the
Saudis an airport, office and apartment buildings,
and invests in Texas banks. Eventually, Salem Bin
Laden and Khalid bin Mahfouz buy an enormous mansion
in River Oaks, Houston's
most affluent neighborhood. Read
an interview with Bill White
George W. Bush starts up an oil
company in Texas called Arbusto 78. Bath will invest
money from Salem bin Laden and Khalid bin Mahfouz
in this new company. Bill White is told by Bath that
more than $1-million of the Saudis' money was
pumped into Bush's venture.
Jr. was a young man when he received funding
for his first oil venture from Jim Bath.
The Carter administration, through the CIA, begins
to fund the fledgling mujahadeen in Afghanistan –
six months before the Soviet invasion – in the
hopes of drawing the USSR into its own Vietnam.
George H.W. Bush runs for the presidential nomination
of the Republican Party, but loses to Ronald Reagan.
He becomes Reagan's running mate and eventual
Osama bin Laden, son of the founder of the Bin Laden
Group, the largest construction company in Saudi Arabia,
travels to Afghanistan to help the mujahadeen in their
bloody war against the Soviet Union.
Bill White and Jim Bath have a falling out. Bath then
launches 28 frivolous lawsuits against White, leading
to White's financial ruin and expulsion from
Houston's business community. White fights the
lawsuits, refusing to take a huge pay off to keep
silent about his knowledge of Bath's relationship
to the Saudis and Bush family. Read an interview with
Harken Energy, a company that George W. Bush's
failed oil companies have been folded into, receives
$25-million stock offering underwritten by significant
players connected to the Bank of Credit and Commerce
International (BCCI), a Middle Eastern banking concern.
Bush is key to Harken obtaining the money.
The Soviets pull out of Afghanistan after the CIA
spends (US) $3-billion on the largest covert operation
in its history. Osama bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia,
angry with how the Americans abandoned Afghanistan
after the Soviet retreat.
Mahfouz lived in Houston and had ties to
both the bin Ladens and Jim Bath.
The BCCI scandal breaks. The bank
is exposed as a massive criminal enterprise, having
catered, during it's history, to some of the most
notorious villains of the 20th century, including
Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, terrorist leaders
Abu Nidal, and the Medellin drug cartel, as well
as for being involved in money
laundering and the Iran contra scandal and for
cash. Following BCCI's seizure in 1991, Khalid
Bin Mahfouz (see above) was indicted in New York
State on the grounds that he had withdrawn sizable
investments in the bank just before it was seized.
In the end, all the charges and claims were dropped
after he made payments of $225 million into
a Federal Reserve settlement account mainly for the
benefit of depositors and creditors who had suffered
losses and $245 million to BCCI's court-appointed
Liquidators also for the benefit of depositors and
The first Gulf War occurs, whereby George H. W. Bush
is determined to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait
to ensure the Iraqi dictator doesn't have a
stranglehold on world oil markets. Osama bin Laden
urges the Saudi royal family to find an Arab solution,
by raising an army on their own to fight Hussein.
When the royal family invites the U.S. in to do the
job instead, Bin Laden becomes disenchanted with the
House of al-Saud. His anger grows when after the war
the US leaves 20,000 troops behind in Saudi Arabia.
Soon Bin Laden makes a deal with the Saudi royal family:
he is allowed to leave the kingdom with his fortune,
and will receive funding for al Qaeda from various
Saudi charities and banks, but in return he must not
launch attacks against the royal family. Bin Laden
settles in the Sudan, aiming his ire at the US.
George H. W. Bush loses to Bill Clinton. Eventually
the former president becomes an adviser to the Carlyle
Group, a powerful Washington-based private investment
firm with interests in the defense industry. Among
his duties, Bush helps strengthen Carlyle's
ties to the Saudi royal family. He will later visit
Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden family compound. The
bin Ladens eventually invest in the Carlyle Group.
Carlyle buys a company called Vinnell Corp., which
provides training to the Saudi palace guard. George
W. Bush briefly sits on the board of directors of
one of Carlyle's subsidiaries.
The first attack on the World Trade Centre, which
is connected to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, occurs.
George W. Bush becomes governor of Texas.
Five American soldiers are killed in a car bomb
in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis quickly execute the
suspects they arrest, ignoring wishes from the FBI
to interrogate them beforehand.
The Taliban come to power in Afghanistan with the
backing of Pakistan's notorious intelligence
agency, the ISI.
Osama bin Laden is forced to move from the Sudan
to Afghanistan under pressure from the Clinton administration.
Neither the US nor the Saudis make an effort to
arrest him – despite the opportunity offered
up to them by the Sudanese government.
A truck bomb blows up the al-Khobar barracks, housing
US air force personnel in Saudi Arabia, killing
19 soldiers. A group called Saudi Hezbollah claims
responsibility. Eventually, the Clinton administration
drops the investigation because it does not want
to upset relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran
– the country that funds Hezbollah.
Saudis meet with an al Qaeda representative
at a Paris hotel in 1996.
A meeting of prominent Saudis occurs in a Paris
hotel. Among the attendees is the head of
Saudi intelligence, Turki bin Faisal.
They meet with a representative of al Qaeda
and agree to extend the earlier arrangement
made between the Saudi royal family and Osama
bin Laden –
whereby in return for cash, al Qaeda agrees not
to attack inside Saudi Arabia.
The CIA produces an internal report that documents
the numerous Saudi charities that are funding terrorists.
Osama bin Laden's name is mentioned.
Al Qaeda makes it most audacious attack to date
by blowing up US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,
killing 224 people.
Ziad Jarrah, pilot of Flight 93, which would crash
into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11, is stopped
and interrogated at an airport in United Arab Emirates
(UAE). He is returning from al Qaeda training camps
in Afghanistan and is carrying Islamic religious
material on him. The US is informed of the interrogation
but not the details.
A high-powered meeting of al Qaeda occurs in an
apartment complex in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Attending
the meeting is Khalid Shaykh Mohammed, the number
three man in al Qaeda and mastermind behind the
1998 US embassy attacks, and architect of the USS
Cole and 9/11 attacks to come. Also at the meeting
is Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, two Saudi
citizens who would end up as hijackers on Flight
77, the plane that crashes into the Pentagon on
The CIA learns about the meeting beforehand and
asks the Malaysian secret police to place it under
surveillance. Video footage and photographs of the
dozen men in attendance are taken, though no tape
recording is possible. After the meeting breaks
up, Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar fly to the US on their
own passports, landing in Los Angeles. There they
are met by Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national who
works for the Saudi civil aviation authority. Just
prior to picking up the two would-be hijackers,
Al-Bayoumi meets with a member of the Saudi consulate
in LA – a man connected to terrorist activity.
Al-Bayoumi takes al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi to San
Diego, puts them up in an apartment, signs a lease,
holds a party for them, enrolls them in flight school
and gives them money. Later, the FBI concludes that
al-Bayoumi is likely a Saudi intelligence agent.
Al-Bayoumi also passes on thousands of dollars to
the hijackers that originate from Princess Haifa,
wife of Prince Bandar Saudi ambassador to the US.
Members of the Hamburg cell, including ringleader
Mohammed Atta, enter the US. They are traveling
on Saudi visas, all of which contain errors on them.
Al-Hazmi and Al-Mihdhar move into the home of a
local imam in San Diego, Abdussattar Shaikh. The
imam is an FBI informant. In fact, Shaikh holds
meetings with his FBI handler while al-Hazmi and
al-Mihdhar sit in a room next door. Shaikh contends
he was never told what mission the hijackers were
on. His FBI handler, meanwhile, was never informed
by his superiors to look out for al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar.
The USS Cole, sitting in a harbour off the coast
of Yemen, is attacked by a boat laden with explosives,
killing 17 sailors.
George W. Bush is elected president of the US in
a contested election. Support for his campaign from
the oil industry is generous.
In the months leading up to 9/11, the CIA, FBI and
National Security Agency receive a burgeoning mountain
of intelligence that a terrorist attack of some
magnitude, and launched by Al Qaeda, is imminent.
They assume the attack will happen overseas.
The CIA and FBI begin to piece together the importance
of the individuals who met a year earlier in Malaysia.
Despite the information they have, neither al-Hazmi
nor al-Mihdhar are placed on the State Department
and Customs watch list.
Al-Hazmi is stopped for speeding in Oklahoma. He
is let go because his name does not appear in the
police officer's data bank as a wanted man.
The CIA will later determine that Khalid Shaykh
Mohammed, architect of 9/11 and al Qaeda's
other attacks, was entering the US as late as this
month, despite the fact he is a well-known figure
in the terrorist netherworld, his name first becoming
known to the CIA as early as 1995.
CIA and FBI meet to talk about al-Mihdhar. But the
CIA does not hand over critical information to the
FBI. Again, the men are not placed on any watch
list and a search for them is not initiated.
A Phoenix, Az.-based FBI counter-terrorism agent
writes a lengthy memo in which he says it has been
noticed that a high number of Arabs, possibly with
connections to al Qaeda, are taking flying lessons
in local flight schools. His memo is ignored by
President Bush receives a detailed and lengthy presidential
daily briefing from the CIA in which Osama Bin Laden
and al Qaeda's aim of launching an attack
against the US is discussed. To this day, the Bush
White House refuses to release the contents of this
briefing to Congressional inquiries into 9/11.
The CIA finally puts al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar's
name on the watch lists. By then it is too late.
The FBI and CIA do a limited search for the men.
The attack occurs. The
morning of the attack George Bush Sr. is meets with
members of the Carlyle Group in Washington. Bin
Laden's own brother is at the meeting. Members of
the Bin Laden family are allowed to leave the U.S.
without questioning two days later.