FBI ‘Accidentally’ Discloses Name Of Saudi Diplomat Who Facilitated 9/11 Attacks
United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accidentally disclosed the name of a suspected diplomat of Saudi Arabia who supported two Al-Qaeda terrorists in September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
According to a news report published in Yahoo News, the mistake about the identity of the Saudi embassy official was made in a declaration by an FBI official in response to a lawsuit by families of 9/11 victims, who accused the Saudi Arabia’s government of involvement in the attacks.
Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative journalist at Yahoo News, who initially noticed the apparent mistake, told Arab news outlet Al Jazeera that he knew right away that the disclosure was a ‘slip-up’.
“When I noticed that the declaration included this information, I contacted the FBI for comment. Because I knew that the justice department and the Trump administration had been going to extraordinary length to keep all of this under wraps,” the journalist said.
He said that both Attorney General William Barr and the Acting Director of the National Intelligence Richard Grennell had filed motions with the court saying that any information relating to the Saudi embassy official and all internal FBI documents about this matter were so sensitive. “They are state secrets, that means if revealed they can cause damage to the national security,” the journalist quoted the officials as saying in the court.
Saudi diplomat Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was mistakenly named in the declaration, an error that Yahoo News said was also confirmed by a senior US government official. Al-Jarrah was a mid-level Saudi foreign ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC in 1999 and 2000. He was in charge of supervising the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centres in the US.
“It is unclear how strong the evidence is against al-Jarrah, whose whereabouts remain unknown. But the disclosure appears likely to revive questions about Saudi Arabia’s potential links to the 9/11 plot and highlights the extraordinary efforts by US government officials to prevent internal documents about the issue from becoming public,” the report noted.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks in which al-Qaeda-affiliated men hijacked and crashed planes into New York’s World Trade Center, destroying the towering buildings. However, It is pertinent to mention that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, were Saudi citizens.