The FBI has recently released a 16-page document relating to the logistical support provided by two of the Saudi hijackers in the lead-up to the terrorist attacks of 11th The document describes contacts the hijackers had with Saudi partners in the United States no evidence that the Saudi government was involved in the conspiracy.
The document, dated Jan.
Biden had come under pressure in recent weeks from the victims’ families, who have been searching for the records for a long time, as they pursue a New York City complaint alleging the complicity of senior Saudi officials.
The Saudi government has always denied any involvement. The Saudi embassy in Washington on Wednesday said it supported the full release of all records to “end the baseless allegations against the kingdom once and for all.” The embassy said any claim that Saudi Arabia was complicit is “categorically wrong”.
Biden last week directed the Justice Department and other agencies to conduct a review of the clearance of the investigative documents and release as much as possible over the next six months.
The 16 pages were released on Saturday night, hours after Biden attended 9/11 memorial services in New York, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia. The relatives of the victims had previously spoken out against Biden’s presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained secret.
The heavily edited transcript, released on Saturday, describes a 2015 interview with a person who applied for US citizenship and had repeated contacts with Saudi nationals years earlier that investigators said provided “significant logistical support” to several of the kidnappers. offered.
The documents are released at a politically sensitive time for the US and Saudi Arabia, two nations that have formed a strategic, albeit difficult, alliance, particularly on counter-terrorism issues.
The Biden government published an intelligence rating in February that implicated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2018 murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding direct punishment of the Crown Prince himself had.
With regard to 9/11, 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 then leader of al-Qaeda, came from a prominent family in the kingdom.
The US is investigating some Saudi diplomats and others with ties to the Saudi government who the kidnappers knew after arriving in the US, according to documents that have already been released.
Still, the 9/11 Commission’s report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or high-ranking Saudi officials individually financed the attacks orchestrated by al-Qaida”. But the commission also noted “the likelihood” that Saudi government-sponsored charities were doing.
Particular attention has been focused on the first two kidnappers to arrive in the US, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In February 2000, shortly after their arrival in Southern California, they met a Saudi citizen named Omar al-Bayoumi in a halal restaurant, who helped them find and rent an apartment in San Diego, had connections with the Saudi government and before that FBI had dont check.