US officials to review classified documents related to 9/11 attacks

US officials could make public some review classified documents related to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Elad Benari ,

Pentagon on 9/11
Pentagon on 9/11

US officials are planning to review classified documents related to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to see which could be made public, AFP reports.

The FBI said in a letter on Monday to the US attorney for the southern district of New York that it "has decided to review" its prior privilege to not disclose certain sensitive documents and will "identify additional information appropriate for disclosure."

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation "will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible," the letter read.

The FBI's commitment is part of a legal battle waged by relatives of September 11 victims against Saudi Arabia and other nations they believe were accomplices.

Successive US administrations have invoked state secrecy in order not to publish some documents.

President Joe Biden, however, said in a statement that he welcomed the court filing.

"My administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law, and to adhering to the rigorous guidance ... on the invocation of the state secrets privilege," he said, according to AFP.

Some relatives of victims, survivors of the attacks and members of rescue teams published a letter last week saying Biden would not be welcome at the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the attacks "until he fulfills his commitment."

The letter called for the release of all documents and information "that our government has accrued in its investigation" that they say links Saudi Arabia to the attacks. Some 1,700 people have signed the letter, according to the US media.

The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks or support for the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

Congress passed legislation in 2016 opening the door to lawsuits against Saudi Arabia, prompted in part by evidence collected over 15 years, suggesting possible ties between the Saudi embassy and the 9/11 attackers.

British media reported in 2016 that evidence uncovered in 2002 links the Saudi Arabian government with the 9/11 attacks.

In 2018, a US judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s bid to dismiss lawsuits claiming that it helped plan the September 11, 2001, attacks and should pay billions of dollars in damages to victims.