Background Briefing: May 21, 2024

Finally We Are Learning More About Saudi State Involvement Behind the 9/11 Attacks

We begin with an explosive article at The Atlantic that confirms suspicions many have had about who was behind the 9/11 attacks. What is emerging, with more to come assuming the federal trial in New York goes ahead, is not the absurd conspiracy theories from the tortured navel-gazers known as the 9/11 “truthers”, but evidence provided by former national security officials, who have long suspected Saudi state involvement. Joining us to discuss the new evidence from intelligence sources at the trial brought by the families of the 9/11 victims is Daniel Benjamin, the president of the American Academy in Berlin who served as the counterterrorism coordinator at the U.S. State Department from 2009 to 2012. He is the co-author, with Steven Simon, of a bombshell article at The Atlantic, “New 9/11 Evidence Points to Deep Saudi Complicity?,” which we discuss. The article reveals inaction at the highest levels and bungling by our intelligence services that obscured the state involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, which was a result of the fact that the House of Saud ruled, but did not govern, and had a compact with the Wahhabi religious radicals who exported petro-dollar fueled jihadism and reactionary Islam around the world, and at home, via the religious police who kept the Saudi population subjugated by a fundamentalist repression that makes the “Handmaid’s Tale” seem like a fairy tale.


An Investigation into What Sadly Appears to Be the Next Frontier of Warfare, Space

Then we investigate what sadly appears to be the next frontier of 21st century warfare, space. Joining us to discuss concerns about Russian plans to put nuclear anti-satellite weapons in space, and the extent to which the U.S. is involved in a new “Star Wars” arms race is David Ignatius, a prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post who has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years. His novels include Agents of Innocence, Body of Lies, and The Increment, and his latest book, just out, is Phantom Orbit.