Advertisement
Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

FBI Releases Declassified Record On 9/11 Attacks; Details About Logistical Support, Saudi Contacts

The document, released on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is the first investigative record to be disclosed since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view.

FBI Releases Declassified Record On 9/11 Attacks; Details About Logistical Support, Saudi Contacts
President Joe Biden reaches out to a piece of steel from the North Tower of the World Trade Center while visiting a memorial to the September 11 terrorist attacks at NATO headquarters in Brussels. | Photo by AP/PTI
FBI Releases Declassified Record On 9/11 Attacks; Details About Logistical Support, Saudi Contacts
outlookindia.com
2021-09-12T08:05:33+05:30

The FBI late Saturday released a newly declassified 16-page document related to logistical support provided to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The document describes contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates in the US but offers no evidence the Saudi government was complicit in the plot.

The document, released on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is the first investigative record to be disclosed since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view.

 Biden had encountered pressure in recent weeks from victims' families, who have long sought the records as they pursue a lawsuit in New York alleging that senior Saudi officials were complicit in the attacks.

 The Saudi government has long denied any involvement. The Saudi Embassy in Washington said Wednesday that it supported the full declassification of all records as a way to “end the baseless allegations against the Kingdom once and for all.”

 The embassy said that any allegation that Saudi Arabia was complicit was “categorically false.”

Biden last week ordered the Justice Department and other agencies to conduct a declassification review of investigative documents and release what they can over the next six months. The 16 pages were released on Saturday night, hours after Biden attended September 11 memorial events in New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia.

Victims' relatives had earlier objected to Biden's presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained classified.

The heavily redacted record released Saturday describes a 2015 interview with a person who was applying for US citizenship and years earlier had repeated contacts with Saudi nationals who investigators said provided “significant logistical support” to several of the hijackers.

 The documents are being released at a politically delicate time for the US and Saudi Arabia, two nations hat have forged a strategic -- if difficult -- alliance, particularly on counterterrorism matters. The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2018 killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding a direct punishment of the crown prince himself.

Regarding September 11, there has been speculation of official involvement since shortly after the attacks, when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida at the time, was from a prominent family in the kingdom.

The US investigated some Saudi diplomats and others with Saudi government ties who knew hijackers after they arrived in the US, according to documents that have already been declassified.

Still, the 9/11 Commission report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks that al-Qaida masterminded. But the commission also noted “the likelihood” that Saudi government-sponsored charities did.

Particular scrutiny has centered on the first two hijackers to arrive in the US, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In February 2000, shortly after their arrival in southern California, they encountered at a halal restaurant a Saudi national named Omar al-Bayoumi who helped them find and lease an apartment in San Diego, had ties to the Saudi government and had earlier attracted FBI scrutiny.

(AP)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Love, Respect, Awe: That's The Way Shah Rukh Khan Looks At Women In His Films

Love, Respect, Awe: That's The Way Shah Rukh Khan Looks At Women In His Films

Shah Rukh Khan is the soothing balm for millions of Indian women living an oppressive life in an insensitive, patriarchal society.

Smoke And Mirrors: NCB’s Panchnama In Aryan Khan Case Hides More Than It Reveals

Smoke And Mirrors: NCB’s Panchnama In Aryan Khan Case Hides More Than It Reveals

NCB’s methods are under the scanner as experts punch holes in ‘panchnama’, arrest memo.

IND 5-0 PAK: What's Your Favourite India Vs Pakistan Cricket Memory?

IND 5-0 PAK: What's Your Favourite India Vs Pakistan Cricket Memory?

India clash with Pakistan in a Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday. Here's a look back at IND vs PAK matches.

Terrorism Has Reduced, Stone Pelting Is Invisible: Amit Shah In Kashmir

Terrorism Has Reduced, Stone Pelting Is Invisible: Amit Shah In Kashmir

On his visit to Kashmir since Article 370 abrogation, Union home minister attends security review meeting, youth event, meets family of slain police officer.

Advertisement