The U.S. Justice Department says that it would provide families of 9/11 victims with more information about the attacks as part of a long-standing federal lawsuit that aims to hold the Saudi government accountable.
In a two-page letter filed in a federal court in Manhattan, the Justice Department said, “The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.”
In a separate statement on Monday, it was shared that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was reviewing the documents for information that could be shared with the families despite prior court rulings “upholding the government’s privilege assertions”.
This comes after nearly 1,800 families, first responders, and victims objected to US President Joe Biden’s attendance at September 11 memorial events. The frustration comes from the public belief that the US is withholding important information from them in the interest of national security.
President Biden applauded the Justice Department for their work. In a tweet, White House Rapid Response Director Mike Gwin said that the President and his administration “is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law.”
However, the initiative has so far failed to pacify some as they claimed that the government has had years to review the documents.
Terry Strada’s husband died when the hijacked plane flew into the World Trade Centre. “We appreciate that President Biden recognizes that long-standing questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil remain unanswered, but nobody should be fooled by this half-hearted, insufficient commitment to transparency,” she said.
“The legal team and the FBI, investigative agencies, can know about the details of my dad’s death and thousands of other family members’ deaths, but the people who it’s most relevant to can’t know,” said Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was among the World Trade Center victims. “It’s adding salt to an open wound for all the 9/11 family members.”
The statement implores the President to release “all the documents and information to the 9/11 community” that would help them obtain justice against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and implement a policy that makes it clear that the KSA must accept its role in the terrorist attacks. Alongside this, the families also demand that they take responsibility for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and the murder of U.S. service members in Pensacola, Florida. It ends with the families demanding that the U.S. “immediately cease the Kingdom’s support for acts of terrorism”.