By Linda Hersey Sarasota Patch
The coalition of families whose loved ones died in the terrorism attacks allege that the al-Hijji family had connections to the hijackers who attended a Venice flight school.
A coalition of families that lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks is urging the FBI to release the full results of an investigation into a Saudi family that formerly resided in Sarasota
The nonprofit group called “9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism” – comprised of 6,600 people – is alleging that Anoud and Abdulazziz al-Hijji, who lived in the Prestancia Estates in south Sarasota for six years, had ties to the 9/11 hijackers.
The Saudi family abruptly moved away, leaving behind their belongings, a week prior to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. But their home was owned by a businessman with connections to the Bin Laden Group, according to the Herald-Tribune.
Now the “9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism” are “seeking information that would shed light on alleged Saudi financing of the terrorist attacks,” according to the PR News Wire.
The group is endorsing efforts by the Broward Bulldog, a Florida non-profit corporation, and its founder Dan Christensen, to obtain documents related to the federal investigation into the Sarasota family. The Broward Bulldog was provided with some results of that investigation, but other documents were withheld or portions were deleted.
The Broward Bulldog is suing the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
The Bulldog has published a series of investigative pieces on the Saudi family and events leading up to the 9/11 attacks. The most recent post –Mystery of Sarasota Saudis deepens as Justice moves to end FOI lawsuit citing national security – alleges that the FBI is withholding documents because “disclosure about Saudis who hurriedly left their Sarasota area home shortly before 9/11 ‘would reveal current specific targets of the FBI’s national security investigations.’ ”
The Broward Bulldog reported:
“According to a counterterrorism officer and Prestancia’s former administrator Larry Berberich, gatehouse log books and photographs of license tags were later used by the FBI to determine that vehicles used by the hijackers had visited the al-Hijji home.
“The FBI later confirmed the existence of the probe, but said it found no evidence connecting the Ghazzawis or the al-Hijjis to the hijackers or the 9/11 plot.”
On June 5, former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL), who also co-chaired the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, filed a declaration in support of the FOIA request, writing, “I am troubled by what appears to me to be a persistent effort by the FBI to conceal from the American people information concerning possible Saudi support of the September 11 attacks.”