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FBI releases first declassified 9/11 document after Biden order

EconomySep 12, 2021 11:00AM ET
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© Reuters. The Tribute in Light art installation is seen from Empire State Building, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, in New York City, New York, U.S., September 11, 2021. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

By Aakriti Bhalla and Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) -The FBI on Saturday released a newly declassified document related to its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and allegations of Saudi government support for the hijackers, following an executive order by President Joe Biden.

The partially redacted 16-page document released by the FBI on the 20th anniversary of the attacks detailed contacts between the hijackers and several Saudi officials, but it did not draw a definitive conclusion whether the government in Riyadh was complicit in the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

Earlier this month, Biden ordered the Department of Justice to review documents from the FBI's probe into the attacks for declassification and release.

Relatives of the victims have been pushing for years for more information about what the FBI discovered in its probe and have contended that the documents would show Saudi Arabian authorities supported the plot.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom has long said it had no role in the attacks. The Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment sent out of hours late on Saturday.

A U.S. government commission in 2004 found no evidence that Saudi Arabia directly funded al Qaeda, the group given safe haven by the Taliban in Afghanistan at the time. It left open whether individual Saudi officials might have.

The families of roughly 2,500 of those killed in the attacks, and more than 20,000 people who suffered injuries, businesses and various insurers, have sued Saudi Arabia seeking billions of dollars.

In a statement issued on Sept. 8, the embassy said Saudi Arabia has always advocated for transparency around the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and welcomes the release by the United States of classified documents relating to the attacks.

"As past investigations have revealed, including the 9/11 Commission and the release of the so-called '28 Pages,' no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved," the embassy's statement said.

In a statement on behalf of the organization 9/11 Families United, Terry Strada, whose husband Tom was killed on Sept. 11, said the document released by the FBI on Saturday put to bed any doubts about Saudi complicity in the attacks.

"Now the Saudis' secrets are exposed and it is well past time for the Kingdom to own up to its officials' roles in murdering thousands on American soil," the statement said.

Biden has taken a tougher stance with Saudi Arabia than his predecessor Donald Trump, criticising the Kingdom over its human rights record while releasing a U.S. intelligence report implicating the Kingdom's de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the 2018 killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The prince denies any involvement.

FBI releases first declassified 9/11 document after Biden order
 

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Comments (17)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Sep 13, 2021 12:08AM ET
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Release something that contains no new information as a distraction from the administration's failures.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Sep 13, 2021 12:08AM ET
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"Relatives of the victims have been pushing for years for more information about what the FBI discovered in its probe and have contended that the documents would show Saudi Arabian authorities supported the plot."  -- how do you know these documents contain no new info?  do you know more than the relatives of 9-11 victims?  if as you said they have no new info, why didn't President Orange release them?
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Sep 12, 2021 11:33PM ET
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Guilty by association! 15 of 19 were Saudis, from a close-nit country; as close-nit as North Korea, with a supreme leader. -- The way Saudi did the 2018 journalist kil. 'ling is the same way it did 9/11: by saying the US cant directly tie us to the deed therefore we're innocent. US FBI saying 'there is no evidence' doesn't mean evidence does not exist. It's highly probable and highly likely Saudi had advance knowledge of the attacks. -- It was wrong of Trump and an insult to victims of Saudi aggressions and high treason to America for Trump to sell arms to the Saudis.
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Sep 12, 2021 2:24PM ET
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FIB mention their failure to stop terrorists from attacking us?
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Sep 12, 2021 1:00PM ET
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Hey, Hey!! Look over here!! Dont pay attention to that.
Aming Xu
Aming Xu Sep 12, 2021 11:49AM ET
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Sent joe biden to jail
Options Trader
Options Trader Sep 12, 2021 11:46AM ET
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Anything Biden does has a motive. Nothing can be trusted at face value.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:40AM ET
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The gov like a boar: first u try, but eventually u will forget; U will endedup dead and dont even know it.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:36AM ET
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After 911, we see more and more state control, more freedome is taken away but just like gasoline price in Ca. Some cry but everybody is ok with 5usd a gallon. When it was 2.5usd, the media blamed the Saudis. Now at double the media is cricket because the gov added ‘global warming’ tax.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Sep 12, 2021 7:06AM ET
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peace
Vinny Love
Vinny Love Sep 12, 2021 7:04AM ET
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bush did that ***look at the school board what the kids are saying plan crash steel
Zinzi Siswana
Zinzi Siswana Sep 12, 2021 4:38AM ET
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It was a fiction and a lie ... it was Bush
jeffree bee
jeffree bee Sep 12, 2021 3:47AM ET
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there was a foreign government involved....remember the dancing israelis....what was to gain for that nation?...a war with their enenies?
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Sep 12, 2021 3:39AM ET
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I guess the real critical part was withheld, when will Bush and his buddies face the music for 9/11?
Nasser Hefny
Nasser Hefny Sep 12, 2021 3:10AM ET
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I remember that day. I was listening to BBC Arabic. They first claimed that helicopter crashed with towers. There wasn't to many TV channels as it is know. at least in Arab world.
Nasser Hefny
Nasser Hefny Sep 12, 2021 3:05AM ET
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Saudi's people & government suffering from extremists more than any other. It's stupidity to accuse Saudis for the attack. They just trying to blackmailing them to steal some money.
Kenneth Dobrowolski
Kenneth Dobrowolski Sep 12, 2021 1:03AM ET
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I believe there was no attack by any foreign government on 9/11. I believe it was planned before the twin towers were built and explosives were in the structure of the building before it was built.
Volvo Lovers
Volvo Lovers Sep 12, 2021 1:03AM ET
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Well, kind of difficult to put something before the building was built, don’t you reckon? And planning something many decades before. Come on, be serious and think before typing.
Gerardo Pastor Herrera Sepulveda
Gerardo Pastor Herrera Sepulveda Sep 11, 2021 11:55PM ET
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So Arabia won't be our friend anymore...
 
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