WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday ordered reviews of the potential declassification of documents from the FBI’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
“When I ran for president, I made a commitment to ensuring transparency regarding the declassification of documents on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America,” Biden said in a statement. “As we approach the 20th anniversary of that tragic day, I am honoring that commitment.”
Biden said his order directed the Department of Justice and other agencies to “oversee a declassification review of documents” related to the FBI probe. The order requires Attorney General Merrick Garland to make the declassified documents public over the next six months, he said.
Family members of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks asked a U.S. government watchdog on Thursday to investigate their suspicions that the FBI lied about or destroyed evidence linking Saudi Arabia to the hijackers.
The request in a letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz said “circumstances make it likely that one or more FBI officials committed willful misconduct with intent to destroy or secrete evidence to avoid its disclosure.”
Biden will commemorate the anniversary of the attacks next week.
“My heart continues to be with the 9/11 families who are suffering, and my Administration will continue to engage respectfully with members of this community,” the statement said. “I welcome their voices and insight as we chart a way forward.”
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Lisa Lambert Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)