FBI releases recently declassified document linked to 9/11 attacks

WASHINGTON – The FBI released a newly declassified document on Saturday evening outlining the links the agency examined between the hija...


WASHINGTON – The FBI released a newly declassified document on Saturday evening outlining the links the agency examined between the hijackers and the Saudi government in the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, although it contains no conclusive evidence as to whether the kingdom played a role in the attacks.

The 16-page report, which was released hours after President Biden arrived at the World Trade Center memorial in Lower Manhattan, is the first document to be released since the president decided last week to declassify documents that had been kept secret for years .

The families of the 9/11 victims have long called for a more in-depth investigation into any possible role for the Saudi government in the attacks. Mr Biden charged the Justice Department and federal agencies in recent days to publish declassified documents within the next six months after a group of hundreds of those affected – including survivors, emergency medical workers and relatives of the victims – told him to skip the memorial event at Ground Zero this year if he didn’t move to disclose some of these documents.

The heavily drafted document describes an interview in November 2015 with a Saudi, identified only as PII, who applied for US citizenship. He detailed his work at the country’s consulate in Los Angeles and shared anecdotes about his personal interactions with embassy management. The document also summarizes his contacts with people who, according to investigators, provided “significant logistical support” to two of the hijackers.

Some members of the commission that investigated the 2001 attacks believed that while the Saudi government had played a role in the plot, it was likely to involve consular officials.

But the document released on Saturday did not provide any new conclusive evidence on the role of the Saudi government.

Speculation about Saudi Arabia’s possible role has grown over the years due to the government’s refusal to declassify 28 pages of a 2002 Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks that specifically addressed possible links between the kingdom and the terrorist plot.

The document finally released in 2016, and he detailed numerous suspicious meetings between Saudi officials and the 9/11 hijackers, as well as checks from the Saudi royal family to agents in contact with the hijackers. It was also an unflattering picture of the kingdom’s efforts to thwart US operations against al Qaeda in the years leading up to the attacks.

The question of whether Saudi officials played a role in the 9/11 plot has escalated for two decades despite numerous investigations into the attacks.

The Saudi government has long denied any involvement. Its embassy in Washington issued a statement this week saying that “any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false.”

In its 2004 final report, the 9/11 Commission said it had found no evidence that “the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials are individually funding” Al Qaeda. But some former commission staff stressed that the report’s cautious wording did not rule out the possibility that lower-ranking Saudi officials aided the hijackers. They also said the commission, operating under extreme weather pressure, could not execute every runway on the ground.

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Newsrust - US Top News: FBI releases recently declassified document linked to 9/11 attacks
FBI releases recently declassified document linked to 9/11 attacks
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