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9/11 Families Continue to Press Biden over Declassification Review

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A person stands in the rain with a red rose at the 9/11 Memorial ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York City, September 9, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Family members of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are still skeptical that the Biden administration will declassify documents from the FBI investigation into the attacks, which they say point to involvement by officials in the government of Saudi Arabia.

President Biden issued an executive order last week mandating a “declassification review” of the FBI investigation. Brett Eagleson, who lost his father, Bruce, in the attacks on the World Trade Center, told National Review in a phone interview that families were “apprehensive” as to whether documents pertaining to the investigation would see the light of day.

“We think that it’s a good first step, but it’s only a first step,” Eagleson said. “Because at the end of the day, they did not compel any documents from the FBI and DOJ, and they did not guarantee anything. All Biden’s order mandated was to review what they can and can’t give us.”

The announcement of the declassification review came after hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims signed a letter telling Biden not to participate in September 11 memorial events unless he declassified investigation documents. Eagleson said the families, many of whom were “ready to protest” if Biden visited Ground Zero, relented after Biden ordered the declassification review. The White House announced on Saturday that the president would visit all three sites where the planes hijacked on 9/11 crashed: Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa.

However, “every single one of us has a little bit of fear, we have a little bit of anxiety, thinking like, we’re totally trusting you, Biden,” Eagleson added. “We are trusting that you mean what you say, and that you’re going to follow through, and that you’re going to give us meaningful and useful documents. You’re not going to give us something that’s 50, 60 percent redacted.”

Eagleson said the families are hoping to see documents from

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