Justice Department To Release Name Of Individual Sought In 9/11 Lawsuit

Peter Haskell
September 13, 2019 - 12:49 pm
9/11 Pentagon

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The United States Justice Department has agreed to identify a person believed to be connected to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, a move that could help victims’ families proceed with a lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government.

It’s been 18 years since the terror attacks and families of the nearly 3,000 people killed on the day are still looking for justice. Some families believe Saudi Arabian officials played a role in the terror plot and have been trying to pursue a lawsuit for several years.

On Thursday, the Justice Department agreed to release the name of an individual sought by those families to attorneys involved in the case.

“It's a weak and reckless decision by our Justice Department,” said Brett Eagleson, whose father was killed in the terror attacks. “Our Justice Department continues to hide behind rarely used privileges, such as state secrets.”

He says the Justice Department has long held on to the name and believes the individual is the link between the Saudi government and the 9/11 terror plot.

“The name is going to show senior to mid-level Saudi officials directing middle level, lower level agents who are providing the assistance and the support to the 9/11 hijackers out in Sand Diego,” Eagleson said. "This name now allows us to show that there was a network and a clear chain of command."

He tells WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell he can't understand why the DOJ is refusing to release more information.

"It's the families of the 9/11 victims squared off against Saudi Arabia and what side does our government choose? What side does our DOJ choose? What side does the FBI choose? They've actively chosen to side with the Saudis," said Eagleson, insisting that this isn't about money, but accountability. "We deserve the truth, we deserve transparency, the American public deserves the truth and transparency."

While attorneys will learn the individual’s identity, the information will remain under seal.

The person was name in a redacted FBI report from 2012, which indicated the agency was investigating two Saudi officials, Omar al-Bayoumi and Fahad al-Thumairy, and said there was evidence that a third person ordered them to assist hijackers.