FBI Releases First Declassified 9/11 Document Following Biden Executive Order

Headline Roundup September 12th, 2021

The FBI released the first declassified document pertaining to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While a large portion of the 16-page report released on Saturday night remains heavily redacted, it unveils the FBI's investigation of a Saudi consular official and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles who might have provided "significant logistical support" to the first plane hijackers arriving in the US. While the FBI document describes multiple conversations and phone calls, the Commission could not confidently link the Saudi men to the hijackers. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan reaffirmed on Sunday that his country has been advocating for the release of these documents for over a decade, claiming they "would completely show that there was no (Saudi) involvement." 9/11 Families United, an organization that serves thousands of families and survivors of the terrorist attacks, said in a statement that they believe the document "puts to bed any doubts about Saudi complicity in the attacks." After the group persistently pressured the White House to declassify the documents, Biden signed an executive order that ordered the Justice Department to make some files available to the public.

Coverage was consistent across the spectrum as most outlets highlighted how the report did not include enough evidence to prove that senior Saudi government officials were involved in the 9/11 attacks. Some right-rated outlets emphasized how the Biden administration "didn’t seek any punishment" against Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, after a US intelligence report found that he directly approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

From the Left

The FBI ended the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by releasing a newly declassified document regarding its investigation into support given to two of the Saudi hijackers. The heavily redacted 16-page document details how the hijackers had contact with lots of Saudi associates in the run-up to the attacks but fails to provide conclusive proof that senior officials of the Saudi government were complicit. The document, which was released late on Saturday, is the first record disclosed by the FBI since President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for...

Read full story
Some content from this outlet may be limited or behind a paywall.
From the Right

The FBI released a heavily redacted, 16-page declassified document Saturday night that sheds light on logistical support given to two Saudi hijackers before Sept. 11, 2001.

The document was released exactly 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and days after President Biden requested a declassification review from the FBI and other government agencies related to the tragedy. 

The document summarizes an FBI interview conducted in 2015 with a Saudi man applying for U.S. citizenship who had frequent contact with other Saudi nationals in the U.S. who provided "significant logistical support" to the first hijackers arriving in the...

Read full story
From the Center

The Biden administration has declassified a 16-page FBI report tying 9/11 hijackers to Saudi nationals living in the United States. The document, written in 2016, summarized an FBI investigation into those ties called Operation ENCORE.

The partially redacted report shows a closer relationship than had been previously known between two Saudis in particular — including one with diplomatic status — and some of the hijackers. Families of the 9/11 victims have long sought after the report, which painted a starkly different portrait than the one described by the 9/11 Commission...

Read full story

AllSides Talks: Political Stereotypes

Monday, October 25, 2021, 5PM PT / 8PM ET

This Monday, Americans from across the political spectrum will meet in small groups to explore the impact of political stereotypes, and what they wish others would understand about their beliefs.

Learn about AllSides Talks