Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi, a key Saudi financial facilitator and intermediary for the 9/11 attacks on the United States testified during a hearing held before the Combatant Status Review Tribunal on March 21, according to a verbatim transcript made public today.
Al Hawsawi’s pivotal role in providing funds to the 9/11 hijackers had been well established by banking transactions. Al Hawsawi, who had worked under the direct supervision of Khalid Sheikh Mohamed since year 2000, had direct financial ties to Ramzi Binalshibh, the coordinator of the Hamburg hijackers’ cell.
Using UAE bank accounts and aliases, Al Hawsawi arranged for the transfer of funds to the hijackers between 2000 and 2001 from UAE bank accounts. Four of the hijackers returned excess money directly to Al Hawsawi in the UAE days before the attacks. Hawsawi fled the UAE to Pakistan on September 11, 2001.
Al Hawsawi denied any role in the 9/11 plot, but acknowledged sending and receiving funds to and from the hijackers. He also admitted having regular contacts with several hijackers and two masterminds of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed and Ramzi Binalshibh.
Al Hawsawi was trained in a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and said he met Osama Bin Laden “four or five times” between the second half of year 2000 and the end of September 2001. While denying his membership in Al Qaeda, Al Hawsawi claimed to “helping all the jihadists”.
The hearing also revealed that key financial data, including details of Al Qaeda’s expenses and transaction records for Al Qaeda’s various bank accounts, was recovered in computer hard-drives during his arrest in 2003.
Al Hawsawi transcript of hearing before the Combatant Status Review Tribunal can be downloaded here: