The Federal Bureau of Investigation (The FBI has published the first document related to its investigation into the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 and allegations that the Saudi government has supported the kidnappers. It was published following an order from President Joe Biden, Reuters reports.
Relatives of the victims had called on Biden to skip the events marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks if he did not declassify documents he said will show that the Saudi authorities have backed the plot.
The partially edited 16-page document, published by the FBI, outlines contacts between the kidnappers and Saudi accomplices, but there is no evidence that the government in Riyadh was complicit in the attacksin which nearly 3,000 people died.
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Saudi Arabia has long said it had no role in the attacks. The Saudi embassy in Washington has not responded to a request for comment.
In a statement issued on September 8, the embassy assured that Saudi Arabia has always advocated for transparency around the events of September 11, 2001, and welcomed the publication by the United States of classified documents related to the terrorist attacks.
As past investigations, including the 9/11 Commission and the publication of the so-called “28 pages”, have revealed, no evidence has ever emerged to show that the Saudi government or its officials knew in advance of the terrorist attack or were involved in any way, “the embassy said in a statement.
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Fifteen of the 19 kidnappers were from Saudi Arabia. A U.S. government commission has found no evidence that Saudi Arabia directly funded al Qaeda, the group that was given asylum by the Taliban in Afghanistan at the time. She left open the question of whether individual Saudi officials could have done so.
The families of about 2,500 of the dead and more than 20,000 people injured, companies and various insurers, have sued Saudi Arabia for billions of dollars.
In a statement on behalf of the United Families for 9/11 organization, Terry Strada, whose husband Tom died on September 11, said that the document, published by the FBI, puts an end to any doubts about Saudi Arabia’s complicity in terrorist attacks.
“Now the secrets of the Saudis have been revealed and it is it is high time the Kingdom recognized the role of its officials in the murder of thousands on American territory, “the statement said.