AP

FBI releases newly declassified record on Sept. 11 attacks

Sep 11, 2021, 9:14 PM
An American flag is unfurled at the Pentagon in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at sunrise on...
An American flag is unfurled at the Pentagon in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, at sunrise on the morning of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The American flag is draped over the site of impact at the Pentagon. In the foreground, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, opened in 2008 adjacent to the site, commemorates the lives lost at the Pentagon and onboard American Airlines Flight 77. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI late Saturday released a newly declassified 16-page document related to logistical support provided to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The document describes contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates in the U.S. but offers no evidence the Saudi government was complicit in the plot.

The document, released on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is the first investigative record to be disclosed since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view. Biden had encountered pressure in recent weeks from victims’ families, who have long sought the records as they pursue a lawsuit in New York alleging that senior Saudi officials were complicit in the attacks.

The Saudi government has long denied any involvement. The Saudi Embassy in Washington said Wednesday that it supported the full declassification of all records as a way to “end the baseless allegations against the Kingdom once and for all.” The embassy said that any allegation that Saudi Arabia was complicit was “categorically false.”

Biden last week ordered the Justice Department and other agencies to conduct a declassification review of investigative documents and release what they can over the next six months. The 16 pages were released on Saturday night, hours after Biden attended Sept. 11 memorial events in New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia. Victims’ relatives had earlier objected to Biden’s presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained classified.

The heavily redacted record released Saturday describes a 2015 interview with a person who was applying for U.S. citizenship and years earlier had repeated contacts with Saudi nationals who investigators said provided “significant logistical support” to several of the hijackers.

The documents are being released at a politically delicate time for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, two nations that have forged a strategic — if difficult — alliance, particularly on counterterrorism matters. The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2018 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding a direct punishment of the crown prince himself.

Regarding Sept. 11, there has been speculation of official involvement since shortly after the attacks, when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida at the time, was from a prominent family in the kingdom.

The U.S. investigated some Saudi diplomats and others with Saudi government ties who knew hijackers after they arrived in the U.S., according to documents that have already been declassified.

Still, the 9/11 Commission report found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks that al-Qaida masterminded. But the commission also noted “the likelihood” that Saudi government-sponsored charities did.

Particular scrutiny has centered on the first two hijackers to arrive in the U.S., Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. In February 2000, shortly after their arrival in southern California, they encountered at a halal restaurant a Saudi national named Omar al-Bayoumi who helped them find and lease an apartment in San Diego, had ties to the Saudi government and had earlier attracted FBI scrutiny.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

george santos is pictured amongst other lawmakers, he and romney have been exchanging harsh words...
Samantha Herrera

GOP on GOP: Romney scolds Santos, ‘You don’t belong here’

Santos' presence at the center aisle to see and be seen with the arrivals was met with a stern rebuke from a fellow Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney.
17 hours ago
A woman sits on the rubble as emergency rescue teams search for people under the remains of destroy...
MEHMET GUZEL, GHAITH ALSAYED and SUZAN FRASER

Race to find survivors as earthquake aid pours into Turkey, Syria

The death toll has risen to above 5,300. Monday's quake and strong aftershocks hit hundreds of kilometers across southeastern Turkey and neighboring Syria.
2 days ago
quit their jobs...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US added a strong 517,000 jobs in January despite Fed hikes

The Fed is aiming to achieve a "soft landing" — a pullback in the economy that is enough to tame high inflation without triggering recession.
6 days ago
Thousands of fraudulent nursing diplomas  were dispersed in Florida. (Canva)...
Associated Press via Miami Herald

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
7 days ago
Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic cond...
MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press

Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.
22 days ago
exxon mobil sign pictured...
SETH BORENSTEIN and CATHY BUSSEWITZ Associated Press

Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s

Exxon said its understanding of climate change evolved over the years and that critics are misunderstanding its earlier research.
28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
FBI releases newly declassified record on Sept. 11 attacks