The FBI has released its first declassified 9/11 document exactly 20 years after the deadly terror attack which claimed the lives of 2,996 people.
The document was published Saturday evening, a week after President Biden signed an executive order directing the agency to make the secret files available to the public for the first time.
The order to release the documents came amid significant pressure from the families of 9/11 victims, who are eager to probe potential Saudi government links to the attack.
The FBI file that is significantly redacted details a 2015 interview with an official who worked at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.
He admitted that he allowed two hijackers to use his apartment and helped them travel around LA. He was found to be an al-Qaeda ‘facilitator’ by the FBI and the Saudi Consul General wanted to fire him for distributing extremist Muslim literature.
He was also a close associate of two other Saudis, Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy, who the helped the hijackers.
The new FBI file reveals that al-Bayoumi, who has admitted befriending them, worked as a ‘ghost employee’ at a Saudi aviation firm in the US.
And it details how al-Thumairy gave the hijackers money, travel assistance and lodging.
The Saudi official, who is only referred to as PII and who applied for US citizenship in 2015, is thought to be Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah who worked at the Saudi Consulate in Washington, DC.
Al-Jarrah’s name was accidently left unredacted in separate court papers penned by an FBI official. However, he has vigorously denied any involvement and insists he did not know any of the hijackers.
Of the 19 hijackers on board the four doomed 9/11 planes, 15 were Saudi nationals.
Last Wednesday, Saudi Arabia released a statement maintaining its innocence, saying ‘it is lamentable that such false and malicious claims persist’.