FBI Says There’s Nothing There; Newspaper Report Suggests Links Between Saudi Family in Fla. and 9/11 Attackers

By Allan Lengel

Something simply doesn’t jive if the the press reports are to believed.

The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Steve Ibison,  head of the Tampa FBI, said the agency found no connection between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a Saudi family who abandoned their Saraosta, Fla. home and new car several days before the attack.

Ibison issued a statement Thursday saying the FBI checked out the “suspicions surrounding” about the home, but never found evidence linking the family to the hijackers. The Herald reported about the connection last week, triggering cries for an investigation into matter.

“There was no connection found to the 9/11 plot,” said the statement, released to the St. Petersburg Times.

But the Herald reports:

“The FBI’s official version… conflicts sharply with reports from people who worked at the homeowners’ association and a counterterrorism officer who joined the investigation.

“A senior administrator at the luxury community told The Herald that cars used by the 9/11 hijackers — the tag numbers noted by security guards at the gate — drove to the entrance asking to visit the family at various times before the attacks. One of the cars was linked to terrorist leader Mohamed Atta, said administrator Larry Berberich.

“In addition, a counterterrorism officer who requested anonymity said agents also linked telephone calls between the home and known hijacking suspects in the year before the attacks.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. has asked for a House investigation into the matter, the Herald reported.

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