In Brief

FBI accidentally names Saudi diplomat suspected of aiding 9/11 hijackers

US intelligence agency makes ‘giant screw-up’ in court documents responding to lawsuit by victims’ families

The FBI has accidentally revealed the name of a Saudi official suspected of providing crucial support to the 9/11 hijackers.

The mistake was made in a declaration filed in federal court by Jill Sanborn, assistant director of the US intelligence agency’s counterterrorism division, in response to a lawsuit that accuses the Saudi government of being complicit in the terror attacks.

“This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement,” a spokesperson for the victims’ families who brought the lawsuit told Yahoo! News. “This is a giant screw-up.”

US officials have admitted the disclosure was made by mistake and have withdrawn the FBI’s declaration from the public record, reports Al Jazeera.

The man named in the documents is Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, a former mid-level Saudi Foreign Ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. in 1999 and 2000.

The authorities believe that al-Jarrah instructed two people - Fahad al-Thumairy, a cleric, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence officer - to help settle two 9/11 hijackers in the US a year before the terrorist atrocity, reports the Anadolu Agency.

Al-Jarrah’s current whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be in Saudi Arabia, the Turkey-based news agency adds.

All but four of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens. The Saudi government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.

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