Friday, June 11, 2004

Saudi Flights

An article from the St. Petersburg Times recounts how a plane carried three young Saudi men from Tampa to Lexington, Kentucky, on September 13, 2001, when most flights were supposed to be grounded. The Saudis then flew back to Saudi Arabia. They were accompanyed by a former FBI agent on the flight.

Several bits of info are interesting:
For nearly three years, White House, aviation and law enforcement officials have insisted the flight never took place and have denied published reports and widespread Internet speculation about its purpose.

But now, at the request of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, TIA officials have confirmed that the flight did take place and have supplied details.
** *
The Saudis asked the Tampa Police Department to escort the flight, but the department handed off the assignment to Dan Grossi, a former member of the force, Unger said. Grossi recruited Manuel Perez, a retired FBI agent, to accompany him. Both described the flight to Unger as somewhat surreal.
* * *
Perez, the former FBI agent on the flight, could not be located this week, and Grossi declined to talk about the experience.

"I'm over it," he said in a telephone interview. "The White House, the FAA and the FBI all said the flight didn't happen. Those are three agencies that are way over my head, and that's why I'm done talking about it."


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