Prince Ahmed bin Salman

Prince Ahmed bin Salman


Prince Ahmed Cited in New Book on Sept. 11 Attacks

A recently released book investigating the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States alleges a captured al-Qaeda terrorist named the late Prince Ahmed bin Salman, former principal of The Thoroughbred Corp., as an al-Qaeda sympathizer.

The allegations come in the final chapter of Why America Slept, a book by investigative journalist Gerald Posner published by Random House. Citing two unnamed government sources, Posner re-tells how U.S. authorities were given the name of Prince Ahmed during an interrogation of a leading al-Qaeda member known as Abu Zubaydah.

During questioning, U.S. officials sent in two men pretending to be Saudi security personnel. With the CIA watching the conversation by videotape, Zubaydah--who had been given a "truth serum" of thiopental sodium that allegedly reduces inhibitions -- shocked authorities because "his reaction was not fear, but utter relief," Posner writes. Zubaydah asked them to call a high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family and "he will tell you what to do."

The man named was Prince Ahmed, according to Posner's sources. After U.S. officials accused Zubaydah of lying, the prisoner outlined the connection between al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia for the next 10 minutes, Posner writes.

It is also alleged by Zubaydah that Prince Ahmed and others knew there was an attack on America scheduled for Sept. 11, but they could not stop it because they did not know what or where the attack would be.

On Wednesday, The Thoroughbred Corp. racing manager Richard Mulhall called the book's accusations "ridiculous." He cited the fact Prince Ahmed was in Lexington for the Keeneland September sale on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I don't believe this for a second, not the slightest bit," Mulhall said. 'Let's say he did know something. You think he'd be here in the states? He was right here in Kentucky, staying at the Marriott."

Prince Ahmed, who won four of the six classic races in 2001-02 with Point Given and War Emblem, was a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and publicly showed full support for the United States up until his death July 22, 2002. While Prince Ahmed was ruled to have died of a heart attack, Posner points out in the book his death came less than four months after Zubaydah's statement and two other members of the Saudi royal family named by Zubaydah died within the next week.

Prince Sultan bin Faisal was killed in a car accident while driving to Prince Ahmed's funeral the following day and just days later Prince Fahd "died of thirst" while traveling east of Riyadh, the Saudi Royal Court announced.

Mulhall dismissed any appearance of wrongdoing in Prince Ahmed's death as well.

"Here's what happened to him. He was in the hospital and was having a procedure done on his stomach (he had diverticulitis). He had it for a few years. The doctors decided they needed to go in and fix these small holes in his intestine," Mulhall said.

"He had that done, and that's why he couldn't go to [War Emblem's] Belmont, because of his diverticulitis. He was in a great mood, he had just talked to me, he was getting ready to go to [Bob] Baffert's wedding. We were going to go from the wedding to the Haskell.

"When he had the surgery, he didn't do any exercise at all. He just laid there and wouldn't get up and walk at all, which doctors want you to do after surgery, to help the circulation. But he was a prince, and they couldn't make him do it. He got a blood clot in his leg, because he wouldn't exercise. It got loose, went to his heart and killed him."

The Thoroughbred Corp. is now headed by Prince Faisal Salman, Prince Ahmed's brother.

Posner is a former Wall Street lawyer and author of eight books. He has previously ignited controversy with books that investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.