The FBI released the first of several documents from its investigation in determining if the Saudi Arabian government aided in the September 11th, 2001, terrorist plot against the United States.
The Washington Post reports that the document was released as a result of President Biden’s executive order, which required government agencies to review, declassify and release more information related to this investigation. Some families of 9/11 victims have involved the Saudi government in lawsuits, where that have sued the government for supposedly supporting the terrorism plot.
Lawyers and the families of victims have since called on the United States government and the FBI to share its knowledge of any potential connections between the 9/11 terrorists and any Saudi government officials. Family members of these victims responded to the release of the documents on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.
Brett Eagleson, who lost his father that day wrote, “today marks the moment when the Saudis cannot rely on the U.S. government from hiding the truth about 9/11.” Additionally, he pledged to “hold the Saudi government full accountable for the tremendous pain and losses we suffered.”
The Saudi embassy in Washington had a positive response to the document’s release. “The Kingdom has always advocated for transparency surrounding the September 11 tragedy,” it said in a statement. They added, “no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved in its planning or execution. Any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false.”
The released document shows that the FBI was still investigating possible ties as recently as 2016. These ties were thought to be between two hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar and people who may have helped them after they arrived in the United States in 2000.
Investigators also focused on details about the Saudi government’s connections to Fahad al-Thumairy, a former Saudi consulate official, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a person once thought to be a possible Saudi intelligence officer. Bayoumi had previously told investigators that he had met the hijackers by chance in a Los Angeles restaurant and they became friends.
However, the FBI document suggests that his statements “are directly contradicted by eyewitness statements.” The FBI reported that it was “difficult to reconcile” the connections between the hijackers and those who supported them.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE HINDU