FBI declassified 9/11 terrorist documents

AmericaThe FBI released a new 16-page declassified document relating to logistical support for two Saudi hijackers.

The US Federal Criminal Investigation Agency (FBI) on September 11 released a declassified document on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which describes the connections between the two hijackers and the fortifications. Saudis in the United States, but offered no evidence that the Saudi government was complicit.

Last week, Biden asked the Justice Department and others to declassify investigative documents and release them within the next six months. The 16 pages were released on the evening of 9/11, hours after the US President attended 9/11 memorial events in New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia. The victim’s relatives had previously protested that he would be present at events if declassified documents had not been released.

The attack that shocked the world 20 years ago

The day America was attacked 20 years ago. Video: USA Today.

Biden has faced pressure in recent weeks from the victim’s family, who want to see the files as he pursues a lawsuit in New York, alleging a senior Saudi official was complicit in the attack.

The Saudi government has always denied involvement in the attack. The Saudi Embassy in Washington on September 8 expressed support for the declassification of documents to “put an end to the baseless accusations against the kingdom once and for all”, affirming any accusations that Saudi Arabia accomplices are all “untrue”.

The file recounts a 2015 interview with an applicant for US citizenship. This person has repeatedly contacted Saudi nationals in previous years. These Saudi nationals provided “substantial logistical support” to the hijackers.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York smoke after the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Photo: Reuters.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York smoke after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Photo: Reuters.

The document comes at a politically sensitive time between the US and Saudi Arabia. The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment involving Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the assassination of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

Speculation arose about the Saudi government’s role in the attack, as 15 of the 19 terrorists were Saudi. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda at the time, came from a noble family in the kingdom.

The United States has investigated several Saudi diplomats and others connected to the Saudi government who knew the hijackers after they arrived in the United States, according to newly declassified documents.

However, the 9/11 Commission report found that “there is no evidence that the Saudi government as an organization or a senior Saudi official personally sponsored” the attack. government instigated by al-Qaeda. But the committee also noted the “possibility” of charities funded by the Saudi government being involved.

Attention focused on the first two hijackers to reach the US, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In February 2000, as soon as they arrived in Southern California, they went to a halal restaurant owned by a Saudi citizen named Omar al-Bayoumi, who helped them find an apartment in San Diego. Bayoumi has ties to the Saudi government and was once under FBI surveillance.

Hong Hanh (Follow AP)

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