US President Joe Biden today signed an executive order ordering the declassification of certain documents related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the AP reported.
According to the US news agency, Biden’s decision is interpreted as a gesture of support for the victims’ families who have long sought more information, hoping to implicate the Saudi government.
The order, signed just over a week before the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on the twin towers, is considered a significant moment in the dispute, which has raged for years, between the US administration and the victims’ families over when confidential information about the preparation period for the attacks would be made public.
That litigation gained momentum last month, when some 1,800 family members, survivors, and first responders from the tragedy objected to Biden’s participation in the events of 9/11 if the documents were not declassified.
“The significant events in question took place two decades or more ago, and concern a tragic moment that continues to resonate in American history and the lives of so many Americans,” reads Biden’s executive order, which continues. : “Therefore, it is critical to ensure that the US government maximizes transparency, relying on rating only when it is strictly appropriate and necessary.”
Biden’s executive order instructs the Department of Justice and other agencies of the US Administration to initiate a declassification review and requires that declassified documents be released within the next six months.
Still, the practical impact of the executive order and any new documents that Biden’s decision might produce or bring to light was not immediately clear.
Previous investigations have delineated ties between Saudi citizens and some of the hijackers of the planes used against the New York twin towers, but have not established whether the Saudi government was directly involved.
It is not known whether the disclosure of documents previously concealed by the US could change this assessment.
The Department of Justice announced last month that the FBI had recently completed an investigation in which it looked at some of the 9/11 hijackers and possible co-conspirators and that its possible disclosure was now being considered given the previous inability to reveal the collected data.
The families criticize that “so far, no additional substantive material has been produced, and that the FBI has not agreed to make an additional effort to find their lost documents.”
Source: with Agencies