While it is certainly a good thing that President Biden signed a recent Executive Order mandating a speedy declassification of the thousands of pages of FBI files on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the other side of the coin should not be ignored.
In late August, the Department of Justice announced that the ongoing 9/11 investigation titled Operation ENCORE–the follow-up to the original PENTTBOM probe–was formally closed. This opened the door for the release of the remaining classified files. President Biden followed up with his EO several weeks later, near the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
But what is absolutely shameless is the fact that, after nearly two decades of investigation, the case was closed without a single Saudi government official being indicted by the US. The Biden EO even cited a specific April 2016 FBI document that summarized all of the accumulated evidence that Saudi government officials were complicit in setting up the 9/11 attacks. More than a dozen Saudi government officials–some from the General Intelligence Directorate and some from the Ministry of Religious Affairs–gave vital logistical, financial, and other material support to the first two hijackers to arrive in the United States 19 months before September 11, 2001. Much of the documentation regarding material Saudi support for the other 17 hijackers remains largely concealed behind a wall of government secrecy. Hopefully all the material still buried will be unearthed soon.
But that does not make up for the fact that known agents of the Saudi regime were instrumental in facilitating 9/11. If, as they claim, they were unwitting of the plot itself, let them prove it before a US jury. Talk to the plaintiffs in the still-unfolding Federal civil suit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or their attorneys who are completing depositions of some of the complicit Saudi officials. They will tell you that the Saudi regime has been lying, stonewalling, and otherwise hiding evidence of the complicity of their agents.
There is no statute of limitation on mass murder, so I remain hopeful that evidence released through the long-overdue declassification process and the pending civil trial in the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York will force the DOJ to hand down indictments and seek extradition.
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