REPORT: FBI makes stunning admission on Saudi government helping its citizens escape prosecution in US

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The FBI believes the Saudi Arabian government “almost certainly” helps its citizens flee the country after they are accused of serious crimes, “undermining the US judicial process,” according to a newly declassified document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The surreptitious action is done, in part, to spare the wealthy Persian Gulf kingdom embarrassment, the FBI said. Intelligence officials believe the flights from justice will continue without intervention by the American authorities.

Saudi officials “are unlikely to alter this practice in the near term unless the US Government directly addresses this issue with (Saudi Arabia) and ties US cooperation on (Saudi) priorities to ceasing this activity,” according to the FBI.

The Oregonian reported that an intelligence bulletin dated Aug. 29 was just released by the FBI on Friday “as part of a recent law pushed by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and signed by President Donald Trump last month that requires the FBI to publicly disclose what it knows about the Saudi government’s suspected role in helping its citizens avoid prosecution in the U.S.”

The document is the first public acknowledgement by federal officials about numerous Saudi nationals who have gotten into trouble while in the United States, then just disappeared.

The Oregonian recalls the case of 21-year-old Portland Community College student Abulrahman Sameer Noorah, who disappeared in 2017, just before his trial in the hit-and-run death of a 15-year-old girl. Noorah later showed up back in Saudi Arabia.

In their investigation, The Oregonian has learned of at least 25 Saudi suspects who have escaped after being involved in criminal cases. In addition to the Portland student, they found Saudi suspects have vanished from Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin — and Canada.

In a series of Twitter posts on Friday, Wyden voice his outrage, saying, “I just received a shocking declassified FBI memo confirming that the Saudi government has been helping fugitives flee the U.S. justice system after being accused or convicted of violent crimes.

“I have been calling for the declassification of this information for months. This memo comes after my bill to require the release of this information became law in December.

“I am shocked and appalled at what this memo describes. The Trump administration is out of excuses for sitting on its hands while the Saudi government helps these fugitives evade justice. It’s time for Donald Trump to hold the Saudi government accountable.”

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