After insisting for months that it could not release information about its once secret probe of Saudi government involvement in 9/11 because it was open and active, the FBI told a federal judge Monday that it has now closed the investigation.
The surprise decision follows intense political pressure on the Biden Administration to open up classified government records by thousands of family members and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington who are now suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We now wish to inform the Court and the parties that the FBI has recently closed the Subfile investigation,” wrote Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Normand and Jeannette Vargas in an Aug. 9 letter, using FBI terminology for the Operation Encore probe that was within its initial PENTTBOM investigation of the 9/11 attacks. “The FBI has decided to review its prior privilege assertions to identify additional information appropriate for disclosure. The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible.”
The FBI’s decision means new documents about what its agents uncovered during Operation Encore could soon begin to flow to the plaintiffs’ lawyers.