FEB 18, 2012
Al-Hijj’s name made headlines in September when Broward Bulldog and The Miami Herald reported on a counterterrorism source’s disclosure of a previously unknown FBI-led probe that followed the attacks on New York and Washington — one that pointed to a possible Saudi support operation for the hijackers in Florida.
A decade after the nation’s worst terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of 3,000 people, al-Hijji has now been found to be living in London where he works for Aramco Overseas, the European subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company. His job title is career counselor.
In an email to London’s Daily Telegraph, which worked the story with Broward Bulldog, al-Hijji acknowledged Hammoud had been his friend, but strongly denied any involvement in the 9/11 plot.
“I have neither relation nor association with any of those bad people/criminals and the awful crime they did. 9/11 is a crime against the USA and all humankind and I’m very saddened and oppressed by these false allegations,” al-Hijji said. “I love the USA, my kids were born there, I went to college and university there, I spent a good time of my life there and I love it.”
Al-Hijji’s account is supported by the FBI, which has stated: “At no time did the FBI develop evidence that connected the family members to any of the 9/11 hijackers…and there was no connection to the 9/11 plot.”
In a brief interview outside his office, Al-Hijji also said he did not know Shukrijumah. “The name doesn’t ring a bell,” he said.
APR 16, 2013
A Saudi family who “fled” their Sarasota area home weeks before September 11th had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to newly released FBI records.
The information runs counter to previous FBI statements. It also adds to concern raised by official investigations but never fully explored, that the full truth about Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks has not yet been told.
One partially declassified document, marked “secret,” lists three of those individuals and ties them to the Venice, Florida flight school where suicide hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained. Accomplice Ziad Jarrah took flying lessons at another school a block away.
The records cast new light on one of the remaining unresolved mysteries regarding Florida’s many connections to the 9/11 attacks: what went on before the attacks at 4224 Escondito Circle, the home of Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his family before the attacks.
The documents are the first released by the FBI about its once-secret probe in Sarasota. Information contained in the documents flatly contradicts prior statements by FBI agents in Miami and Tampa who have said the investigation found no evidence connecting the al-Hijjis to the hijackers or the 9/11 plot.
JUNE 3, 2013
A senior FBI official has told a Fort Lauderdale federal judge that disclosure of certain classified information about Saudis who hurriedly left their Sarasota area home shortly before 9/11 “would reveal current specific targets of the FBI’s national security investigations.”
Records Section Chief David M. Hardy’s assertion is contained in a sworn 33-page declaration filed in support of a Justice Department motion that seeks to end a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed last year by BrowardBulldog.org.
The government’s latest court filings, thick with veiled references to foreign counterintelligence operations and targets, deepen the mystery about a once-secret FBI investigation of Esam and Deborah Ghazzawi and their tenants, son-in-law and daughter, Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji.
The filings by Miami Assistant U.S. Attorney Carole M. Fernandez also seek to justify in the name of national security numerous deletions of information from FBI records about the decade-old investigation that were released recently amid the ongoing litigation.
Anoud and Abdulazzi al-Hiijjii and their young twins abruptly departed their home in Sarasota only days before September 11, 2001 and traveled to Arlington, Virginia, where they stayed briefly at another house owned by Anoud’s father, Esam Ghazzawi.
WhoWhatWhy has found documents laying out the Ghazzawis’ royal connections through a nest of Saudi corporations that share the name EIRAD. Esam Ghazzawi is director of EIRAD Management Company, the UK division of EIRAD Trading and Contracting Co. Ltd.
Esam’s brother Dr. Mamdouh F. Ghazzawi, whose name shows up on public records associated with family properties in the U.S., is the Executive Managing Director of the parent firm, EIRAD Holding Co. Ltd.
He may also be a director of the Saudi stock exchange.
EIRAD MANAGEMENT LIMITED is understood to be a creature of the Saudi Royal Family and under their ultimate control.
- EIRAD MANAGEMENT LIMITED
- Incorporation Date:6 March 1997
- ESAM ABAS GHAZZAWI, director
- Sir WILLIAM NEIL YOUNG, was very briefly a director
- Bernard John Smith
Nothing is known about Bernard John Smith.
Sir William Neil Young is British and was born in 1941. The first directorship we have on file for him was in 1993 at No 1 Wetherby Gardens Limited. Sir William Neil Young baronet, Ex-Director of The Upstairs Shop Limited. Eirad Management Limited 28 Mar 2001 — 15 Oct 2001, 22 Harcourt Terrace Limited, Newgate Stud Company.
Sir William Neil Young - Napo Pharmaceuticals Board of Directors. Sir William Young joined the board of Napo in April 2007. Napo advisors include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Sir William Neil Young Career: Capt 16/5 Queen's Royal Lancers, ret 1970; former stockbroker with: Phillips & Drew, James Capel & Co; former ptnr Watson & Co; md Kleinwort Benson International Investment (Pacific) Ltd 1982-85, dir Kleinwort Benson International Investment Ltd 1982-87, head of investment mgmnt Saudi International Bank 1987-91, int private banking (head of Middle East) Coutts & Co 1991-94; dir Middle East Barclays Private Bank Ltd 1994-1999; currently chm: New World Tst Ltd, Napo Pharmaceuticals Inc; dir Vector Fund; chm High Ham branch Royal Br Legion; govr: High Ham Sch, Langport Cons Assoc.
Directors of Eirad include:
- MOHAMMED YASSER HUSSEIN, an Egyptian national
He appears to work for John Kenrick Hayward, son of Surg.-Col. Edwin William Hayward and Monica Sybil Pine-Coffin. Edwin William is an O.B.E. and Monica Sybil was Section Officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War. John Kenrick's brothers are Captain Henry Tristram Hayward (Blues and Royals) and Edmund Richard Hayward.
Mohamed may also be a director of:
- ALDWYCH ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED
- CHACKOPE LIMITED
- EDENLANE LIMITED
- ALDMAN PROJECTS LIMITED
- KINETIC DISPLAYS LTD
- CONEWALK LIMITED
- CASEGROVE LIMITED
Other members of CONEWALK LIMITED include: Robert Tchenguiz; Mr Guy Sulman Dellal.
Other members of CHACKOPE LIMITED include: DANA QASHANI, Kurdish businessman, founder of The American University of Iraq.
Dallal is the Persian word for Broker.
Guy Dellal is the son of Jack Dellal a property tycoon known as 'Black Jack', born in Manchester to Iraqi Jews. Alice Dellal's godfather is Mick Jagger.
Jack's daughter, Suzy, died of a heroin overdose aged 25. His son, Guy, received a suspended prison sentence, aged 20, in a cocaine smuggling case and was fined £2,500.
Universally known as "Black" Jack because of his love of gambling, Dellal made his first fortune in banking, where his company, Dalton Barton Securities, specialised in making loans to property companies. A "secondary" bank, it borrowed from other financial institutions, then re-lent the money at higher rates of interest. It was built up in the late 1960s and early 70s by Dellal and his longtime associate, Stanley van Gelder.
In 1972, Dalton Barton, based in Dellal's native Manchester, was sold for £58m to a merchant bank, Keyser Ullmann. Dalton Barton's success was due entirely to loans it had made to property companies, and with the bank's two previous owners, Dellal and Van Gelder, both on the board of Keyser Ullman, the headlong lending against real estate continued. But within a year, the secondary banking crisis was getting under way as rising interest rates, rampant inflation and severe credit restrictions combined to drive many property companies towards insolvency.
When the commercial property market crashed in 1974, Keyser Ullman and many other banks found themselves with loans of greater value than the properties and projects they were raised against. Dellal resigned from his position of deputy chairman, but it later emerged that the bank had backed some of his own personal business projects, mostly in property. Dellal-linked companies had borrowed more than £3m, a sum that was never repaid and eventually had to be written off.
In total, Keyser Ullmann, which was chaired by the Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Edward du Cann, had to write off £100m, most of which had been loaned during the Dellal years. The bank never recovered.
In the immediate aftermath of this debacle, Dellal kept a low public profile but was busily building up his property interests with Van Gelder and also doing deals in South Africa. In 1987 he returned to the limelight with the purchase of Bush House, home of the BBC World Service. He paid the then enormous sum of £55m for what had been dubbed "the world's most expensive building" when it was completed in 1929. Two years later, he sold it on for £130m to a Japanese company, Kato Kagaku, and was hailed as the property industry's No 1 dealmaker.
Dellal continued in business through the 1990s, often in partnership with Guy, his eldest son from his first marriage. Then, in 1999, Shell-Mex House, a 1930s art deco office building on the Strand in London, came on to the market. Dellal, along with other heavyweight investors, was interested, but all were pipped at the post by a newcomer to the London market, the New Yorker Steven Witkoff, who with Lehman Brothers paid £180m.
Never one to give up, Dellal was back on the scene when the building was again on the market two years later. It was bought for £327m in 2002 by Rotch, the property vehicle of his old friends Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz. Dellal was a co-investor. In 2007 they cashed in when the building again changed hands, going to the private equity firm Westbrook for £490m.
Dellal remained at the heart of interlocking business and family networks. His parents, Salomon and Charlotte, were born in Baghdad in the 1880s before migrating to Manchester. Jack was born there and attended Heaton Moor college, Stockport.
He had a great sense of humour – when he felt wronged in the pages of Private Eye, he thanked the magazine for publishing his photograph and suggested they made amends by sending him a case of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1959, "which I have never tried". He was a prodigious gambler, and one business associate recalls seeing him in Cannes, playing four roulette tables at once for stakes running into thousands of pounds, while also paying court to an attractive young woman.
In the past he has partnered with Henry Charbit a French textiles tycoon who has been active in property in Prague.
In late 1994, a Saudi company known as Eirad, owned by Prince Fahd Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, sought to acquire a major interest in Eyeglass (later Orbview and since 2006 GeoEye), in return for an agreement to build a ground station in Riyadh and exclusive rights of coverage in the Middle East. The main customer was said to have been the Saudi Defense Ministry. In response, the Israeli government expressed concern that this would give the Arab States, including Iraq, access to highly accurate intelligence information and threaten Israeli security and vital interests. On 2 August 1994 the Clinton Administration asked Israel not to object to the Orbview agreement with Saudi Arabia. However, Israel cited the Saudi's negative role in regional instability, potential contribution to conflict, and support of radical Islamic groups. This assessment was also supported by over 60 members of the US Senate, and number of Congressmen, who expressed concern about transfer of a system "that would be capable of receiving and distributing spy-satellite quality imagery of Israel throughout the Middle East." This group urged the Clinton Administration to reject this proposal.
In response, officials of the Orbital Science Corporation noted that even if a foreign firm such as Eirad held an equity position in Orbview, it would still be subject to US law and license requirements. In an exchange of letters between the Commerce Department and the partners in Orbview, "The firm agreed to exclude the territory of Israel from its viewing area and to put a technical fix on the satellite that would prevent such viewing." However, Israeli officials reportedly considered the safeguards regarding the implementation of these assurances to be insufficient and too vague. In March 1995, the US government agreed to "study the matter in greater detail," and as of January 1997, the role of the Saudi firm in Orbview was unclear.
RIYADH, 22 February 2007 — Eirad Holding, a Saudi company based here, signed a joint venture agreement with Jurong International of Singapore — specializing in construction, design, execution of buildings and facilities management services consultancy —for the establishment of a joint company under the Saudi Foreign Capital Investment Regulation.
Dr. Mamdouh F. Ghazzawi, executive managing director of Eirad Holding Company, told Arab News that the objective of the joint venture is to benefit from Jurong International in providing a complete range of works including the design and execution of construction services as well as supporting a range of commercial, institutional and industrial projects and other various infrastructure and port projects.
Sarasota Saudi Abdulaziz al-Hijji had purchased several used cars during his stay in Sarasota Fl. The last couple of used cars purchased by Abdulaziz al-Hijji were a green 1996 4 door Chevrolet with Fl tag UKH54E and a tan 1999 4 door Jeep with Fl tag VAS14W, both vehicles were registered to Abdulaziz al-Hijji at the 4224 Escondito Circle Sarasota Fl address and it appears that both vehicles were paid for with cash, no Liens. Abdulaziz al-Hijji’s Florida drivers license number is A420001734680, it was issued on 9/12/1995 and expired on 12/28/2001.
According to the senior counterterrorism officer, both Esam Ghazzawi and his son-in-law al-Hiijjii had been on a watch list at the FBI predating 9/11. An unnamed U.S. agency tracking terror funds had also taken an interest in them. “464 was Ghazzawi’s number,” the officer said. “I don’t remember the other man’s number.”
The mysterious but amazing Tchenguiz familyEdit
Robert Tchenguiz: is an Iranian born Iraqi jew, described in headlines as "a London tycoon," he was involved with Kaupthing Bank. Robert is known for opulent parties on his yacht in Cannes and dating the model Caprice. He is said to have introduced Princess Diana to Dodi Fayed (he denies it). He owns 150ft yacht named My Little Violet. He operates from MI5's old headquarters in Mayfair, Leconfield House. Robert even worked in the World Trade Center sometime in the 1980s as an oil trader. He is close friends with Philip Green. He may or may not be a long time friend of Dorrit Moussaieff. Robert married Heather Bird.
Vincent Tchenguiz: was an investor in Bernard L. Madoff Securities. He owns a Damien Hirst skull, which sits in his Park Lane office. He was photographed with Bill Clinton. His yacht is called Veni, Vidi, Vici. He owns/owned a purple Lamborghini, two Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys and an Aston Martin. Vincent owned Peverel which he paid £500 million for. Peverel "organised the upkeep" of 200,000+ flats, including those owned by John Major and Chelsea Clinton. At a party of Vincent's in Monaco, a girl there recalled: "At one stage Richard Branson, Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone and Vincent all went off to a room for a meeting." Vincent hired Black Cube, an elite intelligence unit in Israel, to help him with the SFO case, but they fell out, and are now both suing each other. A girl who hung around Vincent, Martine Vik Magnussen, would be murdered in March 2008, apparently by Farouk Abdulhak as he fled to Yemen where his father is one of the country’s richest men and a personal friend of president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Lisa Tchenguiz: was married since November 2001 to South African multimillionaire and Del Monte chief, Vivian Imerman, a man who liked to drive around London in a bulletproof Rolls-Royce. When they split up she reportedly spent four years trying to extract £100 million out of him using documents her brothers stole from his computer, before they finally settled for £15 million in 2013. The divorce ruling was described as landmark. Before all that she was married to BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Gary Davies, they married in 1992. She has her own yacht and drives a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which was presented to her in 2007 by the Rolls-Royce chairman, Ian Robertson. She is dabbling in film, producing lesbian movies that she hopes will be distributed in the middle east. HRH Princess Beatrice is a friend. She is also a partner in an Italian restaurant in St Tropez with Czech born socialite Ivana Trump. Viscount Weymouth, who has Russian business interests, is at the very least an acquaintance. The viscount is married to the daughter of an Oxford educated Nigerian oil tycoon who he has known since she was only four, as he used to frequent her fathers estate. The viscounts father is an eccentric libertine married to a Hungarian actress. Lisa has recently taken an interest in Steve Vorsari, and they attended an event together hosted by George Piskov. Piskov is a Russian banking prodigy whose interests in Cyprus are currently under investigation, particularly with regards to some bank accounts in Belize.
Their father Victor Kedourie Molaaem was reputedly the Shah of Iran's jeweller, or at least he worked for the Royal mint. He had "fled" Iraq for Iran in 1948, changed his name to Tchenguiz, after Genghis Khan, a man who wiped out the Jewish Khazar Empire. Victor then somehow ingratiated himself with the Shah though In 1979 the family fled Iran too. He was described as "not very emotional" by his daughter. Victor supposedly gave Robert and his brother Vincent a large sum in the 1990s to buy an office building in Hammersmith and from that they somehow created a large property empire. The father lives in Israel.
During the Peverel price-fixing scandal, the Office of Fair Trading apparently offered it immunity from sanction on the questionable grounds that the property manager turned itself in.
Simon Halabi was introduced to the London property scene by the Tchenguiz brothers.
Another man connected to Kaupthing's collapse is David Rowland. David's son Jonathan was scheduled to be in the World Trade Center the morning of 9/11 but didn't show up. He stayed in his hotel room.
Meet Tchenguiz family lawyer, Sarosh Zaiwalla: the first Asian to set up a law firm in London; He fired a young Tony Blair for being unprepared to defend a case; Working for the Indian High Commissioner brought him a caseload of work from the likes of the Gandhi family and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, while the Dalai Lama personally met him and asked him to try and broker a settlement with the Chinese; Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent his associates to try and persuade him to represent the regime in a legal action against the US before the second Gulf War; In 2007, he flew to Dubai and escorted former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto to London and had dinner with her, where she said she was determined to match him up with a wife; His waiting list also currently includes the Kazakh, Mongolian and Chinese governments, Zaiwalla’s current focus is on the Middle East and a real hot topic: Iran. The Indian-born lawyer filed a case at Britain’s Commercial Court, on 14 February 2014, on behalf of Bank Mellat, Iran’s biggest lender; Zaiwalla regularly travels to meet clients in Iran; he has been called upon to represent the Dubai royal family on numerous occasions; “He [the Dubai ruler] was very impressed and invited me to have lunch with Nelson Mandela in the 1990s and in the early 2000s he invited me to dinner with the Australian prime minister when we were the only ones invited; He’s saved millionaire tycoons Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz from going to jail;
Ex-minister David Mellor was once a consultant for the Tchenguiz businesses.
Norman Lamont is described as a business associate of the Tchenguiz brothers.
According to journailst Mark Hollingworth, the Tchenguiz brothers are members at Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair. The Casino charges £25,000 a year for membership. The property, which was once owned by Leopold de Rothschild and even further back in time was one of King Henry VIII's hunting lodges, has more recently been featured in the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night and the Bond film Dr No and is now owned by an Indonesian billionaire, Putera Sampoerna. The club was founded by John Mills, whose real name was Jean-Jean Millstein, apparently of Polish origin and allegedly heavyweight boxing champion of the Polish army, it was also said he was "rumoured to be a government intelligence agent," it seems of the KGB variety. He was an admirer of society fixer Rosemarie Kanzler. When Le Cercle opened in May 1961, it opened exclusively to Les Ambassadeurs members only. Les Ambassadeurs today has a focus on Middle East clientele.
Tchenguiz tried to charge his tenants terrorism insurance: An MP this week hit out at a property management firm for demanding that flat-dwellers pay for pricey "terrorism insurance". A spokesman for Freehold Managers told Money that the ultimate beneficial owner of Freehold Managers is the Tchenguiz Family Trust. Mayfair property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz's sprawling empire was the subject of a Money investigation in February into allegations of excessive charges at several subsidiaries.
Perhaps the most intriguing if fleeting of Tchenguiz connections is to the Reuben brothers, who themselves have connections to Eastern European organised crime. Tchenguiz, Dellal and Reubens once all came together in the ownership of Shell Max House in London.
The Serious Fraud Office has admitted that it may not be able to produce all the evidence it would like to use in its defence against £300m in damages claims from the property tycoon Tchenguiz brothers.
In an extraordinary development, the SFO told a court hearing yesterday that there are "statutory prohibitions" which mean it would be committing a criminal offence were it to discloses some of information it obtained in its investigations, in particular from the Financial Services Authority and HM Revenue & Customs.
Those same prohibitions would not have applied in a criminal case, however.
The court heard that the SFO's difficulties are compounded by the fact that many of its documents do not refer to the ultimate source, meaning it will have to go back to the original information provided by the FSA and HMRC. The deadline for disclosure is 1 August, 2013, ahead of a full trial next April.
The SFO is being sued by Vincent and Robert Tchenquiz after its botched investigation into the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing which involved arrests and searches of Tchenguiz properties.
It has hired the City law firm Slaughter & May to fight the case.
The 84 Temple Chambers MysteryEdit
CONEWALK LIMITED was incorporated at 84 Temple Chambers, Temple Avenue, London, EC4Y 0HP, by London Law Services Limited and London Law Secretarial Limited. Another solicitor associated with Conewalk and other firms first incorporated at 84 Temple Chambers in a Canadian Julian Robert Holy.
A number of very interesting companies have begun life at 84 Temple Chambers for whatever reason. In 1995 Arab House Ltd was set up there before quickly relocating to a residential address in Acton. Arab House is a very small business but has very prominent people on its board. It is associated with the Al-Falaki family, but a recent director is Ibtisam Mohamed Said Auchi, wife of Iraqi billionaire Nadhmi Auchi.
Nadhmi Auchi was convicted of fraud in France in the Elf Aquitaine scandal. He lent money to corrupt Chicago developer Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Auchi is reportedly close to Nick Clegg. Auchi "fled" Iraq in 1980. He became the focus of investigation almost as soon as he left Iraq. In December 1980 he denies being the middle-man in a billion-dollar deal with the state-owned Italian naval dockyards which included the provision of four frigates and six corvettes to the Iraqi navy. Two years later an Italian parliamentary inquiry investigated the payment of $23m in commission to Auchi. He was named in Lucy Komisar's investigation of Saddam Hussein's "secret money-laundering trail."
Another longtime director was Abdul Karim Al Mudaris.
Mudaris was the first and the longest serving Secretary General of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. In 1965, Al Mudaris had moved to London as the Economic Adviser to the Mission of the League of Arab States and in the early 1970s he was entrusted by the League of Arab States with the task of establishing the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in London.
In another previously unreported coincidence, Mr al-Mudaris’ birthday is apparently September 11th.
Chairman of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce is currently Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, who serves on the Board of Governors of the Ditchley Foundation. - a sort of less well known Bilderberg - and is a non-executive director of British Airways.
Perhaps unsurprisingly I also found connections between the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and the The British Iranian Chamber of Commerce, which is currently headed up by Norman Lamont, who was once the Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 1990 to 1993, in the John Major Government.
I also found links to Sabah Al-Mukhtar and George Galloway. Sabah al Mukhtar is one of two trustees of George Galloway’s “Viva Palestina” Hamas support operation. Galloway called him “my right hand” in the Gaza give-money-to-Hamas escapade. Their relationship goes back to the 1990s. Notably, al Mukhtar was vice president of Galloway’s Mariam Appeal. Sabah Al-Mukhtar is controversial and has voiced support for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Laurence Kirschel's CONSOLIDATED DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED began life at 84 Temple Chambers.
Robert Tchenguiz's R20 LIMITED began life at 84 Temple Chambers.
Larry Berberich, a director of Suncoast Bancorp and Suncoast National Bank, graduated from Mt. Carmel High School, Mt. Carmel, Illinois in 1957. Mr. Berberich's business background includes ownership of Cirtech Corp., Kansas City, Kansas, a high tech aerospace company that designed, developed and manufactured military and aerospace systems. Prior to that he owned Empire Systems Corp. and Berberich Associates, both of which were located in Dayton, Ohio. Empire Systems was a distributor of electronic equipment and Berberich Associates functioned as a manufacturer's representative, handling the same types of military and aerospace systems as Cirtech Corp. Mr. Berberich served on the board of directors of the Mid American Bank, Roeland Park, Kansas, from 1980 until his retirement in 1990.
The evidence suggests that Cirtech Corp was sold to EG&G. EG&G Technical Services, Inc. has been a trusted Government contractor since 1947. It was the leading provider of management and technical services to the U.S. government. Its close involvement with some of the government's most sensitive technologies has led to its being cited in conspiracy theories related to Department of Defense black projects. From 1999 until 2001, EG&G was wholly owned by The Carlyle Group. In August 2002, the defense-and-services sector of the company was acquired by defense technical-services giant URS Corporation.
Mr. Berberich's civic and community activities include: Sarasota School Board Capital Needs Committee, Chairman of the Sarasota County School Board Tax Oversight Committee, Chairman of the Design Development Board for Prestancia Community Association, President of the Prestancia Community Association and a member of the Board of Governors of the Palmer Ranch Master Association. He also served on the board of the Sarasota YMCA and the Lost Child Network, Kansas City.
Larry Berberich -- a man who played a pivotal security role at Sarasota's Prestancia neighorhood, where the Saudis in question lived at the time -- has his own view of what Graham describes as a blanket. "Some of the local departments knew a hell of a lot about what was going on and were feeding the FBI that information," said Berberich, who was then a Prestancia board member nominally in charge of security and an unpaid security consultant to the sheriff at that time, Bill Balkwill. Shortly after local law enforcement entered the vacated home of the Saudis in Prestancia, he said, "everything went black." Berberich told the Herald-Tribune local law enforcement personnel privy to evidence were muzzled. He declined to elaborate.
A story published simultaneously by BrowardBulldog.org and The Miami Herald on September 8, 2011, told how concerned residents in the gated community of Prestancia tipped the FBI after the attacks to the al-Hijjis’ sudden departure in late August 2001. It also reported that a counterterrorism officer and Prestancia’s former administrator, Larry Berberich, said an analysis of gatehouse security records – log books and snapshots of license tags – had determined that vehicles either driven by or carrying several of the future hijackers had visited the al-Hijji home. Phone records revealed similar, though indirect, ties to the hijackers, said the counterterrorism officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.