“We respect that President Biden acknowledges that long-standing questions in regards to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement within the worst-ever terrorist assault on American soil stay unanswered, however no one must be fooled by this half-hearted, inadequate dedication to transparency,” stated Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died when a hijacked airplane flew into the World Commerce Middle.
She stated the announcement solely applies to a restricted “subset of cherry-picked paperwork that the FBI has already recognized for evaluation.”
An extended-running lawsuit accusing Saudi Arabia of being complicit within the assaults superior considerably this yr with the questioning below oath of former Saudi officers. These depositions, nevertheless, stay below seal and the U.S. has withheld a trove of different paperwork as too delicate for disclosure.
In its letter Monday, the division stated that the FBI had just lately concluded an investigation that examined sure 9/11 hijackers and potential co-conspirators, and that it might now work to see if info it had beforehand decided couldn’t be disclosed might as an alternative be shared. It didn’t reveal within the letter any findings of that probe, which it has known as the “Subfile Investigation.”
“The FBI will disclose such info on a rolling foundation as expeditiously as potential,” the Justice Division stated. The division stated in a separate assertion Monday that the FBI was newly reviewing the paperwork for info that might be shared with the households regardless of prior court docket rulings “upholding the federal government’s privilege assertions.”
Biden on Monday praised the Justice Division’s motion, saying his administration was “dedicated to making sure the utmost diploma of transparency below the regulation.”
“On this vein, I welcome the Division of Justice’s submitting as we speak, which commits to conducting a contemporary evaluation of paperwork the place the federal government has beforehand asserted privileges, and to doing in order rapidly as potential,” he stated.
However Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was killed contained in the World Commerce Middle and who advocates for 9/11 victims, stated in a press release that whereas he appreciated Biden’s acknowledgement of the households, “now we have heard many empty guarantees earlier than.”
He added: “We hope the Biden administration comes ahead now to offer the knowledge the 9/11 neighborhood has waited to obtain for 20 years, so we are able to stand along with the president at Floor Zero on 9/11.”
A number of U.S. authorities investigations have examined ties between Saudi nationals and a number of the airplane hijackers, however haven’t established that the Saudi authorities was straight concerned. Fifteen of the hijackers had been Saudi, as was Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida community was behind the assaults. The Saudi authorities has lengthy denied any connection.
Specific scrutiny has centered on the help provided to the primary two hijackers to reach within the U.S., Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, together with from a Saudi nationwide who helped them discover and lease an condominium in San Diego.