Transcript: Gitmo Prisoner Says Saudi Royal Family Member Recruited Him

Prisoner Was Told to Participate in Pre-9/11 Plot in US That Involved 'Flying a Plane'

According to a newly released transcript of the interrogation of prisoner Ghassan Abdallah al-Sharbi at Guantanamo Bay, the prisoner was recruited to a pre-9/11 terror plot within the United States by what he believed to be an unnamed member of the Saudi royal family.

Sharbi, who was accused of being a bomb-maker for al-Qaeda, said he’d been told to go to the United States to join the plot by a religious figure, who took a phone call related to the plot in which he referred to the other man as “your highness.”

At the time, Sharbi had recently returned to Saudi Arabia from the United States, where he had attended flight school with two men who would later become 9/11 hijackers. Sharbi was told the new plot would involve him returning to the US, and that it “involved flying a plane.”

This new transcript, once again heavily redacted, only adds to speculation about the Saudi royal family’s direct recruitment and funding of terror plots against the US. The “28 pages” of the 9/11 report had similarly offered such details, showing a pair of suspected Saudi intelligence officers, heavily bankrolled by the ambassador, himself a member of the Saudi royal family, offered substantial assistance to the 9/11 hijackers beginning in 2000.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.