9/11 Document Review Underway After Biden Asked to Miss Memorials

The Department of Justice will review classified documents and files concerning the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 after victims’ families told President Joe Biden last week not to attend memorials if a review wasn’t ordered.

The department’s review comes as part of a federal lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government concerning the lead-up to the attacks, and was disclosed in a letter that was filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

The families of those killed on 9/11 have long criticized the U.S. government for withholding information about the incident in the name of national security. Last week, almost 1,800 families, victims, and first responders signed a letter to Biden blasting his plans to attend 9/11 memorial events if his administration did not declassify documents related to the attacks. Specifically, the families want documents concerning if any of the al Qaeda associates involved in the terrorist attacks had previously received help or funding from Saudi Arabia, as well as information about the FBI’s investigation that ended in 2016 into possible connections with Saudi Arabia and 9/11.

“As I promised during my campaign, my Administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law, and to adhering to the rigorous guidance issued during the Obama-Biden Administration on the invocation of the state secrets privilege,” Biden said in a statement responding to the department’s decision on Monday.

“In this vein, I welcome the Department of Justice’s filing today, which commits to conducting a fresh review of documents where the government has previously asserted privileges, and to doing so as quickly as possible,” he added.

Terry Strada, whose husband was killed during the attack on the World Trade Center, told Politico that the families of victims “appreciate that President Biden recognizes that long-standing questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil remain unanswered, but nobody should be fooled by this half-hearted, insufficient commitment to transparency.”

She added that this decision will only affect a small “subset of cherry-picked documents that the FBI has already identified for review.”

Brad Eagleson, who father also died during the attack on the World Trade Center, noted that although he appreciates that Biden responded to the victims’ families, “we have heard many empty promises before.”

Eagleson said, “We hope the Biden administration comes forward now to provide the information the 9/11 community has waited to receive for 20 years, so we can stand together with the president at Ground Zero on 9/11.”

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