On Friday, US President Joe Biden has reportedly authorized the Justice Department and other relevant bodies to start a six-month process of declassifying materials pertaining to the FBI’s investigation regarding the 9/11 attacks.
In early August, 9/11 survivors and victims’ families wrote a letter, which harshly criticized the president and requested the declassification of documents. They blamed the US authorities for sweeping the documents, which are believed to prove the Saudi government members’ support for the attacks, under the mat. In the letter, they called on Biden not to attend the 20th memorial events if he would not declassify the documents.
Biden’s decision came upon these developments and just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Al-Qaeda attacks.
In the statement issued, Biden said, “When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment.”
“Today, I signed an executive order directing the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to oversee a declassification review of documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s September 11 investigations. The executive order requires the Attorney General to release the declassified documents publicly over the next six months,” President Biden noted.
Noting that several proofs, revealing that Saudi government officials aided the attackers, have been uncovered since the 9/11 Commission completed its investigation in 2004, the letter acknowledged that under different administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have deliberately kept those pieces of evidence secret, and obstructed the American people from discovering the truth, without hiding anything, about the 9/11 assaults.
The Justice Department reportedly launched a review of the confidential documents just after the letter was delivered.
Last September, a US court issued a verdict, requesting Saudi Arabia to make its 24 current and former officials accessible, including a former US ambassador, for interrogation in the lawsuit.
There were 15 Saudi nationals among nineteen people involved in the attacks.
Both chambers of the US Congress voted in 2016 to overturn President Barack Obama’s veto of a measure that would have allowed 9/11 victims’ families to indict Saudi Arabia.
So far, the relatives of nearly 2,500 of those killed, as well as more than 20,000 individuals injured, businesses, and various insurance, have sued Saudi Arabia for billions of dollars.