2,603. 9/14/2001

The Saudi embassy contacted the FBI about possibly evacuating some Saudi nationals, fearing reprisal attacks; the FBI prescreened the Saudi nationals, including the members of the Bin Ladin family before permitting them to leave, and many were interviewed; [counterterrorism czar] Richard Clarke approved the departure of the planes only after he had been told that the FBI had reviewed the passengers to its satisfaction; and none of the planes departed the United States before September 14, 2001, when U.S. airspace was reopened.”

 – Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, Without Precedent, Page 255

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