Biden moves to declassify documents about Sept. 11 attacks

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday directing the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a supportive gesture to victims’ families who have long sought the records in hopes of implicating the Saudi government.

Associated Press

Sep 3, 2021, 8:58 PM

Updated 959 days ago

Share:

Biden moves to declassify documents about Sept. 11 attacks
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday directing the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a supportive gesture to victims’ families who have long sought the records in hopes of implicating the Saudi government.
The order, coming little more than a week before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is a significant moment in a yearslong tussle between the government and the families over what classified information about the run-up to the attacks could be made public. That conflict was on display last month when some 1,800 relatives, survivors and first responders came out against Biden’s participation in 9/11 memorial events if the documents remained declassified.
“The significant events in question occurred two decades ago or longer, and they concern a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and in the lives of so many Americans,” the executive order states. “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, relying on classification only when narrowly tailored and necessary.”
The order directs the Justice Department and other executive branch agencies to begin a declassification review and requires that declassified documents be released over the next six months.
Still, the practical impact of the executive order and any new documents it might yield was not immediately clear. Past investigations have outlined ties between Saudi nationals and some of the airplane hijackers, but have not established the government was directly involved.
A long-running lawsuit in federal court in New York alleges that Saudi officials provided significant support to some of the hijackers before the attacks and aims to hold the kingdom accountable. The Saudi government has denied any connection to the attacks.
The families have long asserted that Saudi officials played more of a direct role than the U.S. government has said publicly, citing in part the fact that the first two hijackers to arrive in the U.S. ahead of the attack were welcomed and assisted by a Saudi diplomat. They have long accused the government of stonewalling their demands for documents, and on Thursday, urged the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the FBI’s apparent inability to locate a photograph, video and other records they seek.
The Justice Department revealed last month that the FBI had recently concluded an investigation examining certain 9/11 hijackers and potential co-conspirators, and that it would now work to see if it could share information that it had previously determined could not be disclosed.
Under the terms of the executive order, the FBI must complete by Sept. 11 its declassification review of documents from that probe, which it has referred to as the “Subfile Investigation.”
Over the course of the next six months, the order states, the government should review for declassification purposes all interview reports, documents with investigative findings, any phone and banking records, other interview reports and other information seen as potentially relevant to the attacks.


More from News 12
0:59
New cannabis dispensary opens In Mott Haven

New cannabis dispensary opens In Mott Haven

1:45
Rain and cloudy skies followed by some sunshine in New York City

Rain and cloudy skies followed by some sunshine in New York City

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

1:48
Suspect in fatal Morris Heights stabbing arrested, held without bail

Suspect in fatal Morris Heights stabbing arrested, held without bail

Police: 40-year-old man fatally shot in East Flatbush

Police: 40-year-old man fatally shot in East Flatbush

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

2:08
Bronx mother sheds a light on the importance of being an organ donor

Bronx mother sheds a light on the importance of being an organ donor

1:51
Beeping egg hunt in Williamsbridge allows visually impaired students to enjoy spring pastime

Beeping egg hunt in Williamsbridge allows visually impaired students to enjoy spring pastime

0:40
Authorities: Bronx River Parkway crash leaves 1 person dead, another in critical condition

Authorities: Bronx River Parkway crash leaves 1 person dead, another in critical condition

1:07
$500 million to go toward boosting early childhood education in the city

$500 million to go toward boosting early childhood education in the city

1:02
Gov. Hochul outlines new plan to crack down on illegal marijuana sales

Gov. Hochul outlines new plan to crack down on illegal marijuana sales

1:58
Man set on fire after argument with another man in Melrose, NYPD says

Man set on fire after argument with another man in Melrose, NYPD says

2:38
Bronx family recalls moments leading up to 19-year-old son's death in Morris Heights

Bronx family recalls moments leading up to 19-year-old son's death in Morris Heights

1:39
Have any weekend plans? See what's happening across the Bronx for Earth Day

Have any weekend plans? See what's happening across the Bronx for Earth Day

0:26
Bronx's Jennifer Lopez honored with Premio Orgullo at Latino benefit event

Bronx's Jennifer Lopez honored with Premio Orgullo at Latino benefit event

1:51
Vendors rally to demand accessible vendor licenses and permits after DSNY crackdowns

Vendors rally to demand accessible vendor licenses and permits after DSNY crackdowns

1:54
Morrisania tenants taking legal stance against building’s management

Morrisania tenants taking legal stance against building’s management

2:11
Bronx Zoo celebrates 125 years of bringing joy to New Yorkers

Bronx Zoo celebrates 125 years of bringing joy to New Yorkers

Is your mom awesome? New York City tell us why your Mom Rocks!

Is your mom awesome? New York City tell us why your Mom Rocks!