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9/11 Families Tell Biden Not to Attend Memorial If He Doesn’t Declassify Files

An American flag left in the engraved names of 9/11 victims at the edge of the north reflecting pool during ceremonies commemorating the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in lower Manhattan, September 11, 2019. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)

A group of nearly 1,800 people who were directly affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks have asked President Biden not to participate in any memorial events this year unless he makes good on his promise to declassify government documents they believe will implicate Saudi Arabia in the attacks.

“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,” said the group, which is made up of first responders, family members of those killed in the attacks, and survivors, according to NBC News.

“Since the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission in 2004 much investigative evidence has been uncovered implicating Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks,” the statement reads. “Through multiple administrations, the Department of Justice and the FBI have actively sought to keep this information secret and prevent the American people from learning the full truth about the 9/11 attacks.”

The group is hoping to obtain the findings of the FBI investigation into Saudi links to the attacks that concluded in 2016. Saudi Arabia has denied involvement in the attacks.

The group writes that Biden vowed during the campaign to be more transparent and to release information but has thus far not made good on that promise. The letter says the Biden administration has not responded to requests from them since taking office.

Biden’s three predecessors since 2001 have declined to release the information, citing national-security concerns.

“Twenty years later, there is simply no reason — unmerited claims of ‘national security’ or otherwise — to keep this information secret,” the group wrote. “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.”

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