Washington, Aug 6 (EFE).- More than 1,700 people who were affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States said Friday that President Joe Biden should not attend events marking the 20th anniversary of the strikes unless he is ready to declassify documents regarding possible Saudi Arabian involvement in the plot.
“We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment,” the group of survivors, first responders and people who lost loved ones said.
Biden made the commitment in a letter last October ahead of his election victory over incumbent Donald Trump.
“The 9/11 Families are right to seek full truth and accountability,” he wrote, adding that if elected, he would direct the attorney general to “personally examine the merits of all cases where the invocation of privilege is recommended, and to err on the side of disclosure in cases where, as here, the events in question occurred two decades or longer ago.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the president “remains committed” to the pledge he made to 9/11 families.
She did not say whether the documents in question would be released.
“Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks,” the group said in their statement.
“Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks,” the statement continued.
Former Sen. Bob Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2001-2003, said in a sworn affidavit that “there was evidence of support from the Saudi government for the terrorists.”
After leaving the Senate in 2005, the Florida Democrat spent years demanding the release of 28 pages related to Saudi Arabia that were omitted from the published 9/11 Commission report.
In 2017, former FBI Special Agent Stephen Moore, who oversaw part of the FBI probe into the attacks, testified under oath that he and his colleagues concluded that “diplomatic and intelligence personnel of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two 9/11 hijackers and facilitated the 9/11 plot.”
Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked commercial airliners into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington.
A fourth aircraft crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, amid a struggle between the hijackers and the passengers while on a heading to the US capital. EFE