Biden decides to declassify documents on 9/11 attacks
President Joe Biden signed an executive order ordering the declassification of certain documents related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The move is seen as a gesture of support for the families of the victims who have long sought the cases in the hope of involving the Saudi government.
The order, coming just over a week before the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is an important moment in a years-long fight between the government and families over classified information on preparations for the attacks that could be released. public.
That conflict was exposed last month when some 1,800 relatives, survivors and first responders objected to Mr. Biden’s involvement in the events of 9/11 if the documents remained declassified.
“The significant events in question occurred two decades or more ago, and they relate to a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and in the lives of so many Americans,” the executive order said.
“It is therefore essential to ensure that the United States government maximizes transparency, relying on classification only when it is narrowly relevant and necessary. “
The order directs the Justice Department and other executive bodies to begin a declassification review and requires declassified documents to be released within the next six months.
Yet the practical impact of the decree and any new documents it might produce was not immediately clear.
Previous investigations have highlighted links between Saudi nationals and some of the hijackers, but have not established that the government was directly involved. It is not known how the publication of any previously selected material might change this assessment.
The Justice Department revealed last month that the FBI recently concluded an investigation that examined certain 9/11 hijackers and potential co-conspirators, and that it will now work to see if it can share information. which he had previously determined not to be disclosable.
But, the families said Thursday, “so far no additional substantive documents have been produced and the FBI has not agreed to go the extra mile to locate its missing documents.”