9/11 community members ask DOJ Inspector General to investigate FBI’s handling of evidence
Families of the 9/11 victims and others filed a complaint with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General asking for an investigation into whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) properly handled evidence of possible ties between Saudi Arabia and the 2001 attacks.
The complaint, dated Wednesday, asks Inspector General Michael Horowitz to “investigate the FBI’s statements made in response to our subpoena in the 9/11 litigation that the FBI ‘lost’ or is simply no longer able to find key evidence about the individuals who provided substantial support inside the U.S. to the 9/11 hijackers.”
“The Inspector General should examine whether one or more FBI officials committed willful misconduct with intent to destroy or secrete evidence to avoid its disclosure,” the complaint continues. “Given the importance of the missing evidence at issue to the 9/11 investigation, as well as the repeated mishandling by the FBI of that evidence, an innocent explanation is not believable.”
A spokesperson for the DOJ Office of the Inspector General declined to comment. The FBI also declined to comment.
Among the information that the group is interested in is possible evidence regarding whether the 19 al Qaeda-associated individuals involved in the deadly terrorist strike were financed or helped by Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. The country has denied that it played any role in the attack.
In August, 9/11 families and others issued a statement telling President Biden not to attend any Sept. 11 events unless he made good on a statement he made as a candidate in October saying that his administration would be more transparent regarding the attacks.
In a court filing, DOJ said a few days later that it would review the classified documents related to the request. Biden said in a statement that he welcomed the decision.
“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 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 continued.
Updated 2:22 p.m.