The Saudis, Pakistanis, and Israelis were set up as the primary alternate foreign patsies to divert attention from the far more plausible - and obvious - involvement of the U.S./ U.K./ E.U. With the relatively recent prominence of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed as 9/11 mastermind, Iraq now takes its place as a plausible patsy.
Still, the Saudi domination of the Middle East media served to give an impression - to Western eyes - that bin Laden was more intimately known among the Arab/Muslim masses than he was by an insular clique in the Western security establishment.
Heading up that clique was Richard A. Clarke, who joined the National Security Council under the first President Bush, and stayed there under Clinton.
As reported by Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker, "In the web of federal agencies concerned with terror, Clarke was the spider." Tim Weiner of the New York Times wrote of Clarke on February 1, 1999: "He has placed proteges in key diplomatic and intelligence positions, creating a network of loyalty and solidifying his power.