Anthony Summers and Dan Christensen
March 12, 2012
A Saudi man who triggered an FBI investigation after he and his family left their Sarasota, Fla., area home and moved overseas two weeks before 9/11 considered Osama bin Laden a “hero” and may have known some of the hijackers, an informant told the FBI in 2004.
The informant also told authorities that the Saudi, Abdulazziz al-Hijji, once introduced him to Adnan El Shukrijumah — another former Florida resident and suspected top al-Qaida operative who today has a $5 million bounty on his head.
The FBI and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the informant, Wissam Taysir Hammoud, at the Hillsborough County Jail on April 7, 2004. The Miami-based investigative website Broward Bulldog obtained Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports about the interview and the investigation using the state’s public records law.