© Reuters. The art installation Tribute in Light can be seen from the Empire State Building, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, New York, USA, 11 September 2021. REUTERS / Go Nakamura
(corrected to 2001 in the first paragraph)
By Aakriti Bhalla and Mark Hosenball
(Reuters) – The FBI on Saturday released the first document related to its investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and allegations of the Saudi government's support for the kidnappers after President Joe Biden issued an executive order .
Relatives of the victims had asked Biden to hold commemorative events for the 20th
The partially blackened 16-page document released by the FBI outlined contacts between the kidnappers and Saudi staff, but there was no evidence that the Riyadh government was involved in the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Saudi Arabia has long said it played no role in the attacks. The Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside business hours on Saturday.
In a statement released on September 8, the embassy said Saudi Arabia had always advocated transparency regarding the events of September 11, 2001 and welcomed the United States' release of classified information in connection with the attacks.
"As previous investigations, including the 9/11 Commission and the publication of the so-called & # 39; 28 pages & # 39 ;, have shown, no evidence has ever emerged that the Saudi government or its officials had prior knowledge or knowledge of the terrorist attack involved in some way, "reads the message's statement.
15 of the 19 kidnappers came from Saudi Arabia. A US government commission found no evidence that Saudi Arabia was directly funding Al-Qaeda, the group that was then used as a safe haven by the Taliban in Afghanistan. It left open whether individual Saudi officials could have this.
The families of around 2,500 of those killed and more than 20,000 injured, companies and various insurers have sued Saudi Arabia for billions of dollars.
In a statement on behalf of the 9/11 Families United organization, Terry Strada, whose husband Tom was killed on September 11, said the document released by the FBI on Saturday put any doubts about Saudi complicity in the attacks to bed.
"Now the secrets of the Saudis are uncovered and it is long time the kingdom took on the role of its officials in the murder of thousands on American soil," the statement said.
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