The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) released on Saturday (11) the first batch of documents related to the investigation of the September 11 terrorist attacks, following an executive order from President Joe Biden. The report reveals a suspicion of logistical participation by a Saudi in the biggest attack on US territory. The information is from the CNN internet portal.
The released document is from 2016 and details connections and witness testimony that led the FBI to suspect Omar al-Bayoumi, who allegedly was a Saudi student in Los Angeles, but whom the FBI suspected of being a Saudi intelligence agent. The report describes his involvement in logistical support for at least two of the men who hijacked planes on Sept. 11, as providing “travel assistance, lodging and financing.”
There is still no information about what happened to the Saudi Omar al-Bayoumi after the American investigations.
The Saudi embassy in Washington reported on Wednesday that “any claim that Saudi Arabia is an accomplice to the 9/11 attacks is categorically false.”
Order to break confidentiality
US President Joe Biden during a speech to end the withdrawal from Afghanistan at the White House on Tuesday (31st) — Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria
On September 3, the US president signed an order for the Department of Justice and other federal agencies to evaluate the removal of secrecy.
The Democrat has been pressured by the victims’ families to end the secrecy that has lasted nearly two decades. They believe the files could indicate whether Saudi Arabia played a role in the terrorist attacks.
Fifteen of the 19 al-Qaeda terrorists involved in the attack were of Saudi origin, but the Congressional Committee that investigated the most tragic attack on American soil found no evidence that they were financed by the kingdom.
“When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensure transparency in the disclosure of documents about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,” Biden said in a statement.
The executive order signed by the President of the United States provides that, after this assessment, the Attorney General will publicly disclose all documents that have their confidentiality overturned within six months.
Deadlines for release of documents
According to the presidential order, federal agencies will have to present opinions on the end or not of confidentiality – and the documents themselves – by March 2022. Each type of information may be made public in a different period:
- Until September 11, 2021: FBI report on the September 11 attacks by a Congressional Committee.
- Within 2 months: classified FBI report on investigations – considered closed in 2021.
- Within 4 months: all FBI reports and initial interviews, analysis, and investigations of suspects and individuals who have a bearing on the case.
- Within 6 months: all other documents that are relevant to the investigation and that show individuals’ connections to foreign agencies or governments.
If some of the information must remain classified for national security reasons, the executive order says, it is up to the Attorney General or the head of the agency responsible for the information to determine the status of the disclosure.