9/11: 20 Years Later
On 11 September 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four passenger jets, destroying the World Trade Centre towers in New York and damaging the Pentagon. The attack killed almost 3,000 people and injured 25,000, prompting the launch of US-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia Backs Full Declassification of US 9/11 Docs to 'End Baseless Allegations'
17:18 GMT 08.09.2021 (Updated: 13:00 GMT 09.09.2021)
© AP Photo / Mark LennihanThe National September 11 Memorial and Museum are set for a memorial service, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in New York. Thousands of 9/11 victims' relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected to gather Monday at the World Trade Center to remember the deadliest terror attack on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001.
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
The families of the US victims of the terrorist attacks in 2001 have repeatedly asked several administrations to release the classified documents related to the probes conducted into these tragic events. Many of them allege that these documents contain evidence showing that Saudi Arabia is complicit in the attacks, despite Riyadh denying it.
The Saudi Embassy in the US has stated that the country fully supports the declassification of the documents related to the 9/11 attack probes, as the 20th anniversary of the tragedy looms. The embassy said that Riyadh thus reiterates its longstanding support for making the investigation documents public in the hopes of clearing up the "baseless allegations" about the kingdom's complicity in the attacks.
The statement stressed that the accusations against Riyadh of being complicit in the 9/11 attacks are "categorically false" and added that Saudi Arabia remains "essential counterterrorism partner" to the US.
"Saudi Arabia knows all too well the evil that al-Qaeda through its ideology and actions represents. Alongside the US, we have been al Qaeda’s top target, even before the September 11 attacks. And alongside the US, the Kingdom has spared no effort in tackling the men, money, and mindset of terrorism and extremism in all its forms", the embassy said in the statement.
The embassy underlined in the statement that previous declassifications had shown that Saudi Arabia neither knew about the upcoming attack in 2001 nor facilitated the attackers in any way. Riyadh also stressed its record of fighting against financing of terrorism and its successful campaign of countering extremist ideologies domestically and online.
The publication of the statement comes on the threshold of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Numerous relatives of the victims have been demanding the release of classified documents from several 9/11 probes, claiming they contain evidence of Riyadh’s complicity in the atrocity. However, they have been systematically turned down by several US administrations.
Biden is the most recent president to do so, sparking calls for him to skip the visit to the site of the World Trade Centre on the anniversary of the attacks. He, however, partially conceded to the demands, ordering on 3 September to release all related documents, except those sealed for the "strongest possible reasons". However, numerous 9/11 documents have been kept classified under the same pretext in the past.