Families of the victims of the September 11 assaults who’re suing the federal government of Saudi Arabia in a United States federal court docket in New York expect the US authorities to imminently release a key FBI report.
The 16-page report is an FBI abstract and evaluation of the company’s long-running investigation into the actions of two of the September 11 hijackers, Saudi nationals, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.
In January 2000, the 2 al-Qaeda operatives arrived in California the place they had been assisted by different Saudis. The FBI report, which can be redacted upon its public release, is anticipated to supply particulars of the FBI’s inquiry into who helped al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, in line with a lawyer for the September 11 households.
“It’s unclear what other parts of the government may have known what was going on, but clearly, fairly high-level and mid-level Saudi officials working for the government were part of this conspiracy,” mentioned Andrew ‘Duke’ Maloney, a lawyer with the regulation agency Kreindler LLP representing the September 11 households in the litigation in opposition to Saudi Arabia.
Now 20 years after the 2001 assaults that resulted in the deaths of practically 3,000 folks in New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the households’ lawsuit accusing the Saudi authorities of complicity is nearing a turning level. Either ample proof to help the lawsuit can be introduced to the court docket or it would fail to maneuver ahead.
The pending FBI report is an evaluation by brokers who seemed into how al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, who spoke little English and had no unbiased sources after they arrived in the US, gained a foothold in Los Angeles after which in San Diego.
Lawyers for the September 11 households imagine they’ll show there was “a cabal” of Saudi authorities officers “who were conspiring with al-Qaeda operatives”, Maloney informed Al Jazeera. The lawsuit’s aim is to win a monetary settlement for the households of the victims of the assault.
Argued largely in non-public, behind closed doorways and in secret filings, the factual underpinnings of the case might quickly change into public underneath an govt order by President Joe Biden.
After Biden was informed by September 11 relations he wouldn’t be welcome at anniversary memorials normally attended by the president, Biden directed the Justice Department and different businesses to evaluate and release still-secret FBI paperwork and proof.
Biden’s order particularly directs the release of the 16-page report by the September 11, 2021 anniversary.
The report is more likely to shed new gentle on what the FBI is aware of about a number of males linked to the hijackers, together with Saudi nationals, Muslim chief Fahad al-Thumairy and suspect Saudi spy Omar al-Bayoumi, Maloney mentioned.
A Saudi embassy official, Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, whose title had emerged beforehand as half of the authorized proceedings, is believed to have offered help to the longer term hijackers, in line with the households’ legal professionals.
The Saudi embassy mentioned the dominion would welcome the release of the FBI’s investigative paperwork and that “no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved in its planning or execution”.
“Any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false,” the Saudi embassy in Washington mentioned in a press release on September 8.
Of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers, 15 had been Saudis and from the start of a number of US inquiries in to the September 11 assaults, questions have swirled across the Saudi role.
Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was the rich son of the founder of the Saudi development firm, Saudi Binladen Group. Bin Laden broke with the Saudi royal household in 1991 over the deployment of US troops to the dominion.
But bin Laden’s organisation obtained monetary help from rich Saudis, together with charities tied to members of the royal household, in line with US authorities paperwork.
The US’s unbiased September 11 fee concluded in its 2004 report that the Saudi authorities was unaware of the pending assaults. The fee “found no evidence” that Saudi officers had any role.
But that report was incomplete and fee investigators lacked the data turned up by the FBI years later, Maloney informed Al Jazeera.
A 2002 US congressional investigation led by former Senator Bob Graham had uncovered data that pointed to Saudi connections to the September 11 assaults. Graham informed Al Jazeera in 2015 the US public can be “outraged” in the event that they knew the reality in regards to the Saudi role.
The report included 28 pages of materials on Saudi Arabia that was stored secret by the Bush administration and later declassified and launched in 2016. The 28 pages had been inconclusive however confirmed some of the hijackers had been in contact with and obtained help from people linked to the Saudi authorities.