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9/11 attacks: FBI releases newly declassified record

Washington: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released a newly declassified 16-page document related to logistical support provided to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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9/11 attacks: FBI releases newly declassified record
9/11 attacks: FBI releases newly declassified record

Released late Saturday, the document details contacts the hijackers had with Saudi associates in the United States (US) but does not provide proof that senior Saudi government officials were complicit in the plot.

On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, the document is the first investigative record to be disclosed since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view.

Biden had encountered pressure in recent weeks from victims’ families, who have long sought the records as they pursue a lawsuit in New York alleging that senior Saudi officials were complicit in the attacks.

Victims’ relatives had earlier objected to Biden’s presence at ceremonial events as long as the documents remained classified.

The Saudi government has long denied any involvement in the attacks. The Saudi Embassy in Washington has it supported the full declassification of all records as a way to “end the baseless allegations against the Kingdom once and for all.” The embassy said that any allegation that Saudi Arabia was complicit was “categorically false.”

The trove of documents are being released at a politically delicate time for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, two nations that have forged a strategic — if difficult — alliance, particularly on counterterrorism matters. The Biden administration in February released an intelligence assessment implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the 2018 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but drew criticism from Democrats for avoiding a direct punishment of the crown prince himself.

Victims' relatives cheered the document's release as a significant step in their effort to connect the attacks to Saudi Arabia. Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was killed in the World Trade Center attack, said the release of the FBI material “accelerates our pursuit of truth and justice.”

Jim Kreindler, a lawyer for the victims' relatives, said in a statement that “the findings and conclusions in this FBI investigation validate the arguments we have made in the litigation regarding the Saudi government’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.

“This document, together with the public evidence gathered to date, provides a blueprint for how (al-Qaida) operated inside the US with the active, knowing support of the Saudi government," he said.

The U.S. investigated some Saudi diplomats and others with Saudi government ties who knew hijackers after they arrived in the US, according to documents that have already been declassified.

Still, the 9/11 Commission report in 2004 found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” the attacks that al-Qaida masterminded, though it noted Saudi-linked charities could have diverted money to the group.

The 2015 interview that forms the basis of the document was of a man who was applying for US citizenship and who years earlier had repeated contacts with Saudi nationals who investigators said provided “significant logistical support” to several of the hijackers.

Among his contacts was Bayoumi, according to the document.

The man's identity is redacted throughout the document, but he is described as having worked at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles.

The document says communications analysis identified a seven-minute phone call in 1999 from Thumairy's phone to the Saudi Arabian family home phone of two brothers who became future detainees at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison.

COURTESY: APP

 

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Pakistan

83 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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83 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,902 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,413.

The total number of cases has reached 1,190,136.

As many as 1,071,976 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,389 critical cases.

Punjab                  

The number of patients swelled to 406,960 in the province with 12,118 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 440,164 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,030.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 165,980 in the province with 5,155 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,456 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 32,942 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 712. On the other hand, there are 10,084 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,550 cases in the capital city while 877 people have lost their lives.

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Sports

Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

Lahore: Veteran cricketer and former Test captain-turned commentator Rameez Raja has emerged as the next chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.

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Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

To elect the 36th PCB Chairman, a special meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) took place today, (September 13) at the High Performance in Lahore.

The PCB Election Commissioner, Mr Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed conducted the election, presiding over the meeting.

The members of the BoG including Mr Aasim Wajid Jawad, Ms Alia Zafar, Mr Asad Ali Khan, Mr Arif Saeed, Mr Javed Kurieshi, Mr Ramiz Raja and Mr Wasim Khan attended the special meeting.

At 1415 inside the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, NHPC, the newly-elected PCB Chairman will hold his media conference, which will be live-streamed on all PCB social media channels.

As per the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, which are designed to ensure health and wellbeing of all involved, only reporters and correspondents who are fully vaccinated and have immunisation certificates are invited to attend the media conference.

Moreover, TV news channels will be welcome to use PCB’s broadcast quality live-stream details of which will be shared shortly before the start of the media conference.

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Pakistan

With 73 new fatalities, Pakistan's COVID-19 death count nears 27,000

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 4.78%.

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With 73 new fatalities, Pakistan's COVID-19 death count nears 27,000

As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), around 2,714 cases of coronavirus were reported while 73 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,938.

Pakistan conducted a total of 56,733 tests in the last 24 hours.

As per the NCOC, total confirmed cases are 1,212,809 whereas 5,122 are under critical care.

Punjab           

The number of patients swelled to 416,901 in the province with 12,291 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 446,840 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,192.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 169,429 in the province with 5,310 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,658 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,490 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 727. On the other hand, there are 10,198 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 103,293 cases in the capital city while 892 people have lost their lives.

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