Here’s the FBI’s Internal Presentation About the 9/11 Attacks
FBI documents obtained by Florida Bulldog offer more questions than answers about the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 attacks.
Image: Federal Bureau of Investigation
An FBI slideshow containing details about the 9/11 terrorist attacks was finally published this year. The information outlined in the document is unclassified, but many parts have been redacted—a feature that's been the subject of litigation since early 2016.
The 52-page document, titled "Overview of the 9/11 Investigation," was first published this March by Florida Bulldog, an investigative journalism non-profit, after it sued the FBI for the records in 2015.
The slideshow was also obtained by Government Attic, a public records database and non-profit organization, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which is how we initially spotted it.
It includes profiles of the 19 men responsible for the plane hijackings, airport security camera footage, broad investigative findings, and evidence such as a receipt belonging to Nawaf al-Hazmi that was discovered in a car left at Dulles Airport in Virginia.
The FOIA case, as of late, focused on the agency's decision to withhold so much information from public eyes. The plaintiff alleged the FBI improperly redacted key intelligence related to the funding of the 9/11 attacks. The FBI, meanwhile, claimed that revealing certain facts would "disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions."
Some have accused the FBI of exploiting FOIA law by holding its "trivial concerns"—that 16-year-old security camera evidence would betray the exact location of the device, for instance—above Americans' right to understand the processes of their government.
In total, 13 full pages were redacted by the FBI under more than a dozen exemptions. An additional nine pages were deleted from the presentation entirely (the titles of the slides weren't even shown). Among the reasons cited by the agency were potential violations of personal privacy, trade secrets, and national defense interests. Titles of these slides included: "KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] Non-Immigrant Visa Application"; "Funding of the 9/11 Attacks"; Early to Mid-2001: Additional Funding"; and "August 2011: Reserving 9/11 Tickets."
The redacted pages allude to information about "the transfer of money prior to and funding of the attacks." For years, Florida Bulldog has been investigating Saudi Arabia's possible connection to the attacks.
Miami judge Cecilia Altonaga ultimately ruled in the FBI's favor, reversing a previous decision that would've made most of the document public. "The court sees no need for further facts to be elicited at trial," Altonaga concluded this month, making it unclear as to whether these full, unredacted records will ever see the light of day.