The FBI launched a closely redacted, 16-page declassified document Saturday night time that sheds gentle on logistical help given to 2 Saudi hijackers earlier than Sept. 11, 2001.
The document was launched precisely 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and days after (*20*) Biden requested a declassification assessment from the FBI and different authorities businesses associated to the tragedy.
The document summarizes an FBI interview carried out in 2015 with a Saudi man making use of for U.S. citizenship who had frequent contact with different Saudi nationals within the U.S. who supplied “important logistical help” to the primary hijackers arriving within the nation.
Some of the 9/11 victims’ households have been hoping for years for documentation to assist them in a possible lawsuit towards the Saudi authorities, alleging it supported the hijackers. But whereas the document particulars the contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates within the U.S., it doesn’t present proof that senior Saudi authorities officers have been complicit within the plot.
Saudia Arabia has constantly denied involvement within the attacks and the Saudi Embassy in Washington mentioned it helps the total declassification of all information as a solution to “finish the baseless allegations towards the Kingdom as soon as and for all.”
PRESIDENT BIDEN ORDERS REVIEW OF 9/11 DOCUMENT CLASSIFICATION NEARLY 20 YEARS LATER
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers have been Saudis and Usama bin Laden was born within the nation.
Jim Kreindler, a lawyer for the victims’ family members, mentioned in a press release that “the findings and conclusions on this FBI investigation validate the arguments we’ve got made within the litigation concerning the Saudi authorities’s accountability for the 9/11 attacks.
“This document, along with the general public proof gathered up to now, gives a blueprint for the way (al Qaeda) operated contained in the US with the energetic, realizing help of the Saudi authorities,” he mentioned.
Hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar have been helped find an condo in San Diego by Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi nationwide with links to the federal government, after they first arrived within the U.S. in 2000. Al-Bayoumi mentioned they met in a “likelihood encounter” at a restaurant earlier than he helped them. Bayoumi was recognized to the Saudi nationwide whose FBI interview was the idea of Saturday’s document launch.
During the interview, the FBI made a number of makes an attempt to determine if that characterization was correct or if it had really been organized prematurely, in keeping with the document.
Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally, particularly on counterterrorism points, however the relationship has been strained not too long ago – significantly by the 2018 homicide of author Jamal Khashoggi. Earlier this 12 months, the Biden administration implicated Saudi chief Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s dying. The U.S. didn’t search any punishment towards the crown prince.
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Despite an investigation of Saudi officers after 9/11, the 9/11 Commission report discovered “no proof that the Saudi authorities as an establishment or senior Saudi officers individually funded” the hijackers. Money may have been funneled to al Qaeda by Saudi-linked charities, the 2004 report concluded.
Saturday night time’s document was disclosed hours after Biden attended Sept. 11 memorial occasions in New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia. Victims’ family members had earlier objected to Biden’s presence at ceremonial occasions so long as the paperwork remained categorized.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.