Saudi Arabia and 9/11: New video revives questions about kingdom’s involvement

The 9/11 Justice organization is calling on President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to address new footage they say is "damning evidence" of the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

The video was uncovered in a CBS report on June 20, 2024 and shows detailed footage of the U.S. Capitol and other landmarks in Washington, D.C. allegedly recorded by Omar al-Bayoumi, an alleged Saudi intelligence operative with ties to two of the hijackers. 

Some investigators believe the video shows Bayoumi "casing" the Capitol and other landmarks as the terror attacks were being planned. 

The CBS report said the video was found in Bayoumi’s UK apartment and that British Police are believed to have turned the video over to the FBI after Sept. 11. The government of Saudi Arabia has reportedly since said the video is nothing other than a tourist video.

The video was the topic of discussion Tuesday at a news conference held by 9/11 Justice, a group consisting of members of the Sept. 11 community including survivors, loved ones and first responders. 

They want Biden and Trump to address the footage. 

One 9/11 member, Dennis McGinley called the video "incredibly disturbing" and said it raises new questions about the number of and extent to which Saudi officials were involved in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

"We're no longer searching for words of, you know, ‘You're in our thoughts and prayers.’ We're no longer looking to be coddled or comforted. We stand here pissed off. It's 23 years later, and our government has failed to bring us accountability, closure and justice," said Brett Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice.

You can hear more of their remarks in the video player above. 

FILE - NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked airliners in a terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Giroux/Getty Images)

The group’s mission, according to its website, is to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable for an alleged role in helping plan the 9/11 attacks. 

They believe the entire story has not been revealed because of the U.S. government’s reluctance for a full accounting. Any new evidence they might surface could be politically explosive given Saudi Arabia’s role as a Middle East partner.

RELATED: 9/11 documents: FBI releases hundreds of newly declassified pages

Saudi Arabia and 9/11

The Saudi government has denied any connection to the attacks. But the question has long vexed investigators

The issue gained traction not only because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi — as was Osama bin Laden, the mastermind — but also because of suspicions they must have had help navigating Western society given their minimal experience in the U.S.

Public documents released in the last two decades, including by the 9/11 Commission, have detailed numerous Saudi entanglements but have not proved government complicity.

They show how the first hijackers to arrive in the U.S., Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, were met and assisted in 2000 by Omar al-Bayoumi, the man who allegedly filmed the latest video uncovered in the CBS report

Bayoumi helped them find and lease an apartment in San Diego, had ties to the Saudi government and had previously attracted FBI scrutiny, investigators have said.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.