The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has begun leaking secret documents investigating the 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the United States. The document was first released on Saturday night, the 20th anniversary of the horrific attack. The document, which has been kept secret for so long, reveals information about an investigation into the involvement of Saudi nationals in the United States with the two attackers. Further documents investigating the attack are expected to be released.
On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda members hijacked a plane and attacked the Twin Towers and the World Trade Center in New York. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. More than three thousand people lost their lives in that attack. This has led to a change in attitudes towards Muslims around the world. Intelligence surveillance is intensified in the country. Much more changes.
The FBI is investigating allegations that the two hijackers were collaborating with a Saudi consular officer in charge of the United States and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, CNN reported. The information and evidence found in their investigation has come up in this 2016 document.
The BBC says the 18-page document has been widely edited. It is based on an interview with a source whose identity has been kept secret. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a crowd of 2,000 people, according to the Associated Press. According to FBI documents, they then received significant support from Omar al-Bayomi. He provided them with interpreters as well as travel, accommodation, and financial assistance. Omar al-Bayomi, who introduced himself as a student at the time, used to visit the Saudi embassy in Los Angeles regularly. He was highly respected there.
In addition to Omar al-Bayomi, the two hijackers had ties to Fahad al-Thumairi, a Saudi national and imam of the King Fahad Mosque in Los Angeles. Thumairi was a believer in extremism, according to FBI documents. Thumairi and Biomi left the United States just weeks before the 9/11 attacks
Relatives of those killed and injured in the 9/11 attacks have long demanded the release of the intelligence documents. They claim that Saudi officials knew about the attack in advance but did not try to stop it. Many families affected by the attack were pressuring US President Joe Biden to release the documents. They also announced that they would not allow Biden to attend the memorial service unless documents were released.
Prior to the release of the documents, the Saudi embassy in Washington welcomed the initiative. They deny any involvement with the attackers.
Meanwhile, AFP reports that the families of the 9/11 victims have filed a lawsuit against the Saudi government in a US federal court. Allegations of involvement in the lawsuit filed by the families of the victims 20 years after the 9/11 attacks are seen as a turning point in the case.
Maloney, a lawyer for the victims, told Al Jazeera that they believed they could prove the involvement of al-Qaeda members with Saudi officials.
Earlier, the administration of former US Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump did not do so on the pretext of national security. Last week, Joe Biden ordered the release of investigative documents within six months.
Although the United States and Saudi Arabia have long been allies, they have had a difficult time. Donald Trump strengthens ties with Saudi Arabia. Incumbent President Biden strongly criticized the assassination of journalist Jamal Khasogi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey ahead of the election. However, considering the alliance with Saudi Arabia, Biden has softened his attitude towards Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman.