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FBI Says It Will Review 9/11 Documents Ahead Of Potential Release

  President Joe Biden issued a statement on Monday saying that he “welcome[s]” a “fresh review” of certain documents by the Justice Departme...

 President Joe Biden issued a statement on Monday saying that he “welcome[s]” a “fresh review” of certain documents by the Justice Department after the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] announced it closed part of an investigation regarding the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

In a letter to two judges on Monday, two U.S. attorneys wrote on behalf of the FBI, saying, “the FBI has decided to review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure. The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.”

In a statement on Monday regarding the filing, Biden said: 

As I promised during my campaign, my Administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law, and to adhering to the rigorous guidance issued during the Obama-Biden Administration on the invocation of the state secrets privilege. In this vein, I welcome the Department of Justice’s filing today, which commits to conducting a fresh review of documents where the government has previously asserted privileges, and to doing so as quickly as possible.

The move comes after family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks released a statement last week, calling on Biden to declassify certain documents. The families have specifically pushed for documents to be released that pertain to the alleged involvement of Saudi Arabia in the attacks. 

Family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks said that Biden should not attend memorial events this year unless he releases classified information.

“The group says that as a candidate Biden pledged to be more transparent and release as much information as possible but that his administration has since then ignored their letters and requests,” NBC News reported.

“We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment,” they wrote in a statement obtained by the outlet.

“Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks,” the statement said. “Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks.” 

“Twenty years later, there is simply no reason — unmerited claims of ‘national security’ or otherwise — to keep this information secret,” the group wrote. “But if President Biden reneges on his commitment and sides with the Saudi government, we would be compelled to publicly stand in objection to any participation by his administration in any memorial ceremony of 9/11.”

As the outlet reported, the George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump administrations also refused to declassify documents, pointing to concerns about national security.

The families believe there may be a connection between Saudi Arabia and the attacks and have pushed to find evidence of such for years. 

In the executive summary of The 9-11 Commission Report, Saudi Arabia is mentioned in the “Specific Findings” section. The summary noted:

Saudi Arabia has been a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism. Before 9/11, the Saudi and U.S. governments did not fully share intelligence information or develop an adequate joint effort to track and disrupt the finances of the al Qaeda organization. On the other hand, government officials of Saudi Arabia at the highest levels worked closely with top U.S. officials in major initiatives to solve the Bin Ladin problem with diplomacy.

The 9-11 Commission Report said, “At the level of high policy, Saudi Arabia’s leaders cooperated with American diplomatic initiatives aimed at the Taliban or Pakistan before 9/11.”

“At the same time,” it added, “Saudi Arabia’s society was a place where al Qaeda raised money directly from individuals and through charities. It was the society that produced 15 of the 19 hijackers.”

The Saudi government has reportedly denied that it has any connection to the attacks.

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