12 September 2011
A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.
Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.
He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC’s Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.
In response to the allegations in this report the CIA issued a statement to the BBC that said: “Any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is baseless.”
“The suggestion that the Central Intelligence Agency has requested redactions on this publication because it does not like the content is ridiculous.”
The CIA decline to comment on the record about the accusations regarding waterboarding and interrogation.
Unofficial transcript of video, “Former FBI Agent says truth of 9/11 remains hidden” :
3:35 video available at this link:
Unofficial transcript below.
Gordon Corera: Stepping out of the shadows, appearing for the first time on camera, Ali Soufan, the former FBI agent with an eyewitness account some people don’t want him to tell.
Ali Soufan: They are trying to stop me and others from telling the world what really happened over there.
Gordon Corera: He believes huge mistakes were made with devastating consequences. Born in Lebanon, Soufan had emigrated to America as a teenager. He was one of the only Arabic speakers in the FBI and was picked out by his boss to be deployed across the world in pursuit of Al Qaeda.
Ali Soufan: This is a brick from the facility where Bin Laden got his official brief from Khalid Sheik Mohamed on 9/11.
Gordon Corera: Soufan’s search for answers sbout 9/11 began the day after the attacks. He was in Yemen where he’d been investing Al Qaeda’s bombing the previous year of a US warship, the Cole . He’d been trying to unravel the spider’s web of Al Qaeda’s network. On September the 12th a CIA officer passed him an envelope. What was inside shocked Soufan. There were details of two of the 9/11 hijackers, which the CIA had failed to pass on. What makes you so sure it would have made a difference?
Ali Soufan: We’re looking for them oversees. They were here. People in our government knew that they were here. We were not told.
Gordon Corera: It still makes you angry.
Ali Soufan: Absolutely. And I will be angry until the day I die about this.
Gordon Corera: After 9/11, the US began to capture top Al Qaeda suspects including Abu Zubaydah. He was taken to a secret CIA site where Ali Soufan was allowed to interrogate him.
Ali Soufan: We were getting actionable intelligence. This actionable intelligence have the possibility of saving lives.
Gordon Corera: But some in Washington believed abu Zubaydah knew more. He was about to become the guinea pig for what the CIA called enhanced interrogation techniques.
Ali Soufan: We were seeing some stuff that if it happens in America the person will be arrested, absolutely. It’s kind of like an abuse if a prisoner.
Gordon Corera: He threatened to arrest the Cia contractor who was leading the interrogation.The FBI told him to come home. Zubayda was then waterboarded 83 times.
Clip of Dick Cheney speaking: “The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other techniques had failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful.”
Gordon Corera: Are you saying that Dick Cheney is lying?
Ali Soufan: I know that Dick Cheney is not saying the truth because I was there. Everything the proponent of enhanced interrogation techniques claim that was obtained because of enhanced interrogation techniques and waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah we got when we were on the ground over there before even enhanced interrogation techniques techniques existed.
Gordon Corera: Soufan has a book published today. The CIA demanded heavy cuts. It is, he believes, part of a wider attempt to control the official account of 9/11 and the last ten years.