FBI releases declassified documents with Saudi link to 9/11 after President Biden’s order
On Saturday, the FBI declassified a document related to the 9/11 attacks hours after President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush and others honored the heroes and victims on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Last week, President Biden had ordered the FBI to declassify documents pertaining to the 9/11 investigation. The 16-page document, declassified on Saturday, is the first file to be shared and more files are expected to be shared over the next six months.
The document has been redacted a lot and provides information of a 2015 interview with a man who was in contact with Saudi nationals in the U.S. These nationals — Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy had helped two hijackers: Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar who were the first two hijackers who had arrived in the nation.
The document shows that the hijackers and the Saudi associates were in contact on U.S. soil. However, it does not provide proof that senior Saudi government officials were in compliance with the attacks.
However, the lawyer for 9/11 victims relatives said that the findings and conclusions of the FBI investigation validated the arguments that they had made in the litigation that the Saudi government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
He also said that Saudi officials exchanging phone calls among themselves and Al Qaida operatives, accidentally meeting the hijackers, providing them assistance to settle down in the U.S. and to find flight schools provided a blueprint of how the Al Qaeda terror network operated in the nation and had the “active support of the Saudi government.”
However, the Saudi government continues to deny its role and has not responded when asked for comment by several news outlets.
On Thursday, the Saudi Embassy in Washington released a statement which said that they welcomed the declassification of documents and said that suggestions of their complicity was “categorically false.”
According to CNN, on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan reaffirmed that they were in favor of declassifying documents and the documents would show that there was no involvement of their country.