The American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in line with the executive order of President Joe Biden, has released the documents relating to the 9/11 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers. The first of a series of documents relating to the investigation into the terrorist attacks says that suspected Saudi support for the hijackers.
The declassified document dates back to 2016 and contains details of the Bureau’s investigative work into alleged logistical support provided by a consular officer and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles to at least two 9/11 hijackers.
The 16 pages that are heavily redacted are related to 2016 “Operation Encore.” The operation probed ‘significant logistical support provided’ to two 9/11 hijackers. It said Saudi associates in the US had “multiple personal and phone contacts with individuals who provided or are suspected of providing” support to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar.
The text examines numerous connections and presents testimonies that led investigators to suspect Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi student in Los Angeles, considered by the FBI to be an intelligence agent in Riyadh. The document refers to his intense involvement in guaranteeing “travel, logistical and financial assistance” for the benefit of the two hijackers.
The move came as the US president faced pressure from nearly 1,800 victims’ relatives not to attend events marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks if the documents were not released.
But the documents fall short of offering any detail that incriminates the Saudi government. The kingdom has repeatedly rejected any role in the attacks.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in the US said it welcomed Biden’s order to release classified documents regarding the gruesome events.
The mission stated on Twitter that Saudi had consistently requested for declassifying the documents related to September 11 attacks since they took place 20 years ago.
Referring to the past investigations, the mission said that there was no evidence indicating that the Saudi Arabian government had any knowledge about the attacks or any involvement in its planning or execution.
“Any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false,” it said.
The 9/11 attacks were carried out using three passenger planes hijacked by al-Qaeda operatives. A fourth plane, bound for the White House or the Capitol building, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers attempted to retake it from the hijackers.