FBI releases first 9/11 document 20 years after terrorist attacks
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released the first documents related to its investigation of the September 9, 2001, terrorist attacks, popularly known as 9/11.
The documents which came 20 years after the unprecedented attacks suspected to be the brain child of the Saudi government, followed an executive order by President Joe Biden.
The declassified document released on Saturday, catalogues reports from as early as 2016, which provided details of the FBI’s work to investigate the alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles, provided to at least two of the men involved in the hijacking of the planes used in the attacks.
The document, released on the 20th anniversary of the deadly attacks, still contains significant redactions.
It details multiple connections and witness testimony that prompted FBI suspicion of Omar al-Bayoumi, who was purportedly a Saudi student in Los Angeles, but whom the FBI suspected to be a Saudi intelligence agent.
The FBI document describes him as deeply involved in providing “travel assistance, lodging and financing” to help the two hijackers.
The Saudi embassy in Washington, DC, previously said that it “welcomes the release of” the FBI documents and that” any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false.”
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Biden’s executive order came after more than 1,600 people affected by the attacks sent a letter asking him to refrain from going to Ground Zero in New York City to mark the 20th anniversary unless he released the information.
The letter in part questioned the role of Saudi Arabia, suggesting that members of the Saudi Arabian government had been involved in “supporting the attacks.”
Shortly after the letter, the Department of Justice announced it would review what previously withheld information or documents related to the September 11, 2001, attacks it can disclose to the public.
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