WASHINGTON (AP) – Relatives of the victims of the 9/11 attacks called on the Justice Department General’s Inspector General Thursday to investigate the FBI’s handling of evidence from its investigation into the kidnappers and their associates, saying that certain records appear or are missing get lost.
The relatives of the victims consider the lack of evidence or withheld evidence to be potentially crucial in establishing their belief that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was indeed involved in the attacks. This thesis forms the basis of pending federal proceedings in New York, although US studies have not conclusively been able to establish such a connection.
Evidence reported by the FBI that the FBI has not produced includes phone recordings of calls to co-conspirators in the attacks, recordings of witness interviews, and a photo of a Saudi diplomat with two of the kidnappers in front of a Southern California mosque shortly after they arrived in the United States
The families had also asked the FBI to release a video allegedly showing a Saudi citizen throwing a party for two kidnappers in San Diego, but a senior FBI official said last year the office was looking for the tape but was not been able to find it.
“The FBI has a duty to preserve its 9/11 evidence and has sophisticated computer systems to manage its files and conduct searches,” said the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of more than 3,500 family members, first responders and survivors . “A routine search must be able to find critical documents from the most serious criminal investigation the FBI has ever conducted.”
The complaint said the FBI told families that it could not find various pieces of evidence that the families believe should be in possession of the office. In the case of a photo that the victims’ families say shows a meeting with two of the kidnappers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, in front of the mosque, the FBI said two case agents knew nothing about it and “his The search did not “reveal the photo,” the complaint said.
The Justice Department announced last month that the FBI recently closed an investigation into certain 9/11 kidnappers and potential co-conspirators.
But, the families said Thursday, “no additional substantive material has yet been produced and the FBI has not agreed to make further efforts to find his missing documents.”
The complaint called on Inspector General Michael Horowitz to “investigate whether one or more FBI officers committed willful misconduct with the intention of destroying evidence or keeping it secret in order to avoid disclosure”.
Many of the victims’ families have long asserted a closer connection between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the kidnappers than the US government has admitted, and in a lawsuit in New York allege that Saudi officials were the first two kidnappers to arrive in America before the attacks , provided important support.
Although the families filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s office, Horowitz is under no obligation to open an investigation.
Spokesman for the Inspector General and the FBI declined to comment on Thursday.
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