Saudi Arabia welcomes release of classified 9/11 documents
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday welcomed the move by the US government to release classified documents relating to the 9/11 attacks.
The comments come after President Joe Biden ordered the Justice Department and other agencies to review classified documents related to the FBI’s investigation into the 9/11 attacks and declassify them in the coming months.
The Saudi embassy in Washingon said on Wednesday that Riyadh has long called for the move and added that any allegation of ties between the attackers, many of whom were Saudi nationals, and the government were “categorically false”.
“Since that horrific day 20 years ago, the leadership of Saudi Arabia has consistently called for the release of all materials related to the United States’ investigation of the attacks,” the embassy said. “The Kingdom has always advocated for transparency surrounding the September 11 tragedy.”
The embassy said that as past investigations have revealed, “including the 9/11 Commission and the release of the so-called ’28 pages’, no evidence has ever emerged to indicate that the Saudi government or its officials had previous knowledge of the terrorist attack or were in any way involved in its planning or execution.”
It added that “any allegation that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the September 11 attacks is categorically false”.
Mr Biden’s move to order a review of the classified documents came in response to intense pressure from Congress and victims’ families.
Some family members of victims have asked a US government watchdog to investigate their suspicions that the FBI lied about or destroyed evidence that may have linked Saudi Arabia to the hijackers.
Saudi Arabia has long denied it had any role in the hijacked plane attacks.
“As the administrations of the past four US presidents have attested, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has unwaveringly condemned and denounced the deplorable crimes that took place against the United States, its close ally and partner,” the embassy said.”Saudi Arabia can only reiterate its longstanding support for the full declassification of any documents and materials relating to the United States’ investigation of the terrorist attacks, with the hope that a full release of these documents will end the baseless allegations against the Kingdom once and for all.”