The Trump administration is getting ready to release the identity of a man who allegedly aided and abetted the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, believed to be an individual with deep ties to the Saudi government.
Attorney General William Barr made the final determination for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release this information on Thursday, one day after the 18th anniversary of the attacks.
The information will be released to attorneys that are representing the families of victims who have filed a lawsuit accusing the government of Saudi Arabia of helping to coordinate the terror attack that took their loved one’s lives. The attorneys will have to petition the DOJ to release the name to the greater public for the man’s identity to be widely known.
While it is commonly understood that 15 of the 19 terrorists who committed the attacks were Saudi nationals, the Saudi government has denied any complicity in the attacks, and the official investigation has largely cleared them of any wrongdoing. Additional information released to the public has shown that the Saudis may have been more intimately involved in planning the attacks than what was initially claimed by the Bush administration.
Stunning disclosures illuminating previously unknown facts about who provided material support to the 9/11 attackers have been made available to the public, as 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 were finally released in 2016. The unredacted information provides shocking details that show the Saudi government had more than a passive role in facilitating the attacks.
The report states: “Prior to September 11th, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.'”
The 28 pages contain evidence that the 9/11 attackers contacted and received support from individuals closely connected to the Saudi royal family. The report also indicated that CIA and FBI officers were aware of these connections, but they were mysteriously covered up. The Saudis also stonewalled the investigative process and made it difficult for federal authorities to get answers after the attacks took place.
“A number of FBI agents and CIA officers complained to the Joint Inquiry about a lack of Saudi cooperation in terrorism investigations both before and after the September 11 attacks,” the report states.
While some lawmakers see the release of the documents as a substantial victory for transparency, Saudi authorities still refuse to take any culpability for their behavior that led to the worst attacks in American history.
“The information in the 28 pages reinforces the belief that the 19 hijackers — most of whom spoke little English, had limited education and had never before visited the United States — did not act alone in perpetrating the sophisticated 9/11 plot,” former Senate Intelligence Chairman Bob Graham said in a statement after the documents were released.
“It suggests a strong linkage between those terrorists and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi charities, and other Saudi stakeholders. The American people should be concerned about these links,” he added.
“Hopefully, these pages will provide some resolution to the families of victims of the attacks and help our government craft better foreign policy moving forward,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said after the pages were released.
“Several government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, have investigated the contents of the ’28 Pages’ and have confirmed that neither the Saudi government, nor senior Saudi officials, nor any person acting on behalf of the Saudi government provided any support or encouragement for these attacks,” Saudi Ambassador to the United States Abdullah Al-Saud said in 2016.
“We hope the release of these pages will clear up, once and for all, any lingering questions or suspicions about Saudi Arabia’s actions, intentions, or long-term friendship with the United States,” he added.
Nothing will be cleared up until an authentic independent investigation takes place into what really took place on 9/11. The new release of a four-year academic study showing that World Trade Center building seven did not collapse due to office fires only underscores the need for another investigation.
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