Biden Orders Review and Possible Declassification of Secret 9/11 Documents

911 New York Terrorist Attacks

Joe Biden signed an executive order this Friday imposing the review and possible disclosure of secret documents related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The decision of the president of the United States comes a few days before the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack in US history and amid strong pressure from the families of the victims. For years, broad groups of these relatives have demanded that the documents obtained by the FBI in its investigation of the attacks be revealed, in particular, those that have to do with the role of Saudi Arabia in the attack.

As a candidate for president, Biden promised to do so. He assured that he would require the attorney general to “personally examine all cases” in which there is secret information for State reasons and to show himself “in favor of declassification in cases, like this one, in which the events in question have occurred. at least two decades ago. But then he didn’t take any steps about it. Last month, a group of relatives of the victims declared that the president would not be welcome to the commemoration in New York– which Biden plans to attend – if he did not fulfill his electoral promise. Among other actions, relatives have organized a protest next Thursday in place of the attacks in New York, the World Trade Center in Manhattan. The reaction of the relatives was a headache for the Biden Administration, which faces the anniversary of 9/11 in the midst of a crisis after the fiasco of leaving Afghanistan – the attacks were the root of that war that lasted two decades – which it would be exacerbated by the confrontation with the families.

The executive order directs the Justice Department to “supervise the review for the descaling of documents related to the FBI investigations into 9/11.” The attorney general must reveal the documents that are approved for it within a period of six months.

Saudi Arabia involvement

“When I ran for president of the United States, I made a commitment to ensure transparency on the declassification of documents related to the terrorist attacks of September 11,” Biden said in a statement. “Now I keep that commitment.” It remains to be seen how that review will occur, what documents will eventually come to light, and whether the process satisfies the families of the victims.

Relatives have repeatedly complained about the broken promises and the “empty words” of successive administrations about the disclosure of secrets. At the center of their claims is the FBI’s 10-year investigation into Saudi Arabia’s involvement. Donald Trump assured family members that he would not reveal those secrets but backed down. Now it will be seen if Biden’s executive order goes to the bottom of the matter or is just a gesture to reassure families and not further complicate their participation in the 20th anniversary of 9/11.