agents in the United States probing relatives of Saudi-born
terror suspect Osama Bin Laden before September 11 were told
to back off soon after George W Bush became president, the BBC
The BBC's Newsnight current affairs programme on Tuesday
said that Bush at one point had a number of connections with
Saudi Arabia's prominent Bin Laden family.
It added there was a suspicion that the US strategic
interest in Saudi Arabia, which has the world's biggest oil
reserve, blunted its inquiries into individuals with suspected
terrorist connections -- so long as the US was safe.
Newsnight reported it had seen secret documents from an FBI
probe into the September 11 terror attacks that showed that at
least two other US-based members of the Bin Laden family are
suspected to have links with a possible terrorist
The programme said it had obtained evidence that the FBI
was on the trail of Bin Laden family members living in United
States before, as well as after, the terrorist attacks.
Newsnight said Bush made his first million 20 years ago
with an oil company partly funded by the chief US
representative of Salem Bin Laden, Osama's brother.
Bush also received fees as director of a subsidiary of
Carlyle Corporation, a little-known private company which in
just a few years since its founding has become one of
America's biggest defence contractors, and his father, George
Bush Sr, is also a paid advisor, the programme said.
The connection became embarrassing when it was revealed
that the Bin Ladens held a stake in Carlyle, sold just after
September 11, it added.