Joe Biden appears to forget the year of the 9/11 attacks
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In a request to the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the family members claimed “circumstances make it likely that one or more FBI officials committed wishful misconduct with intent to destroy or secrete evidence to avoid its disclosure”.
Their letter continued: “Given the importance of the missing evidence at issue to the 9/11 investigation, as well as the repeated mishandling by the FBI of that evidence, an innocent explanation is not believable.”
Brett Eagleson, son of victim Bruce Eagleson, said in an interview: “Our government is either lying about the evidence it has or it is actively destroying it, and I don’t know what’s worse.”
The letter – which was signed by more than 3,500 people – asked Mr Horowitz to investigate FBI statements made in response from the families that the agency “lost or is simply no longer able to find key evidence” about the hijackers.
Despite 15 of the 19 hijackers being from Saudi Arabia, the country has said it had no role in the plane attacks.
This comes as US President Joe Biden was told to stay away from upcoming memorial events unless he declassifies files about the attacks.
Their letter said: “We cannot in good faith, and with veneration to those lost, sick, and injured, welcome the president to our hallowed grounds until he fulfills his commitment.”
The administrations of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all declined to declassify the documents, citing national security concerns.
But the family members said 20 years on there is no reason to “keep this information secret”.
They said: “Twenty years later, there is simply no reason – unmerited claims of ‘national security or otherwise – to keep this information secret.
“But if President Biden reneges on his commitment and sides with the Saudi government, we would be compelled to publicly stand in objection to any participation by his administration in any memorial ceremony of 9/11.”
In August, Mr Biden welcomed the Justice Department’s commitment to a fresh review of claims of privilege it made about why some information could not be released.
He said: “My administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency under the law.”
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The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda.
Four California-bound commercial airliners took off from three different airports across the northeastern US.
All planes were hijacked mid-flight by 19 terrorists, who carried out the attacks in three groups of five and one group of four.
American Airlines Flight 11 was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan at 8.46am.
Seventeen minutes later at 9.03am, the World Trade Center’s South tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175.
Both 110-storey towers collapsed within an hour and forty-two minutes.
A third flight, American Airlines Flight 77, flown from Dulles International Airport, was hijacked over Ohio and, at 9:37am, was crashed into the west side of the Pentagon causing a partial collapse of the building.
The fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, was flown in the direction of Washington, DC.
The plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, at 10.03am, after passengers forced their way into the cockpit and fought the hijackers over the controls.
Investigators determined that Flight 93’s target was either the White House or the Capitol Building.
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