Family members of the September 11 attack victims have pressurized the US President Joe Biden to declassify the documents that they contend will show Saudi Arabian leaders supported the attack as the tragedy’s 20th-anniversary approaches.
In a letter, the victims’ family members, along with first responders and survivors of the attack, called on Biden to skip this year’s memorial events unless he decides to release the documents.
“Twenty years later, there is simply no reason – unmerited claims of ‘national security or otherwise – to keep this information secret,” the letter stated.
“If President Biden reneges on his commitment and sides with the Saudi government, we would be compelled to publicly stand in objection to any participation by his administration in any memorial ceremony of 9/11.”
In total, about 1,700 people directly affected by the September 11 attacks signed the letter.
Saudi Arabia maintains that it had no role in the attacks.
Family members of the September 11 victims have long sought US government documents related to whether Saudi Arabia aided or financed 19 al-Qaeda members who carried out the attack.
White House officials have had several meetings with groups representing the September 11 families regarding their document requests, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Friday.
“Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, especially in these days preceding the 20th anniversary of the attacks coming up just next month,” Psaki said.
Biden is committed to “work constructively on resolving issues” through the Justice Department related to making public the secret US documents, she said.