In a series of coordinated terror attacks, nearly 3,000 people are killed and more than 6,000 injured when 19 terrorists, members of the Islamic extremist network Al-Qaeda, hijack four U.S. commercial airplanes and intentionally fly two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, a third into the Pentagon, and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers and crew launch a counterattack on the hijacker pilot.
A Joint Inquiry from the House and Senate Committees on Intelligence Issues an 838 page report on the attacks with information regarding Saudi involvement in support of the hijackers. 28 pages of the report that discuss the Saudi government involvement are redacted from public view under the guise of national security.
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is released. The report calls for declassification of archived documents by 2009.
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduce bi-partisan bill S. 2040, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), to allow individuals to hold foreign governments accountable in U.S. courts for supporting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The legislation would amend a 1976 law that grants foreign governments immunity from litigation in U.S. courts.
JASTA unanimously passes in the U.S. Senate.
The redacted “28 pages” of the 2002 Congressional Joint Committee Report is finally made public after more than 14 years of calls for its release. “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government…" the document says. It further reveals that high ranking Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah, who was captured after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, had in his phone book the private unlisted phone numbers for Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar’s private residence in Colorado and Prince Bandar’s body guard in Washington, information that the government had claimed was classified for national security reasons.
JASTA is passed in the U.S House of Representatives by voice vote without objection.
President Obama vetoes JASTA legislation.
U.S. Congress overrides President Obama’s veto. The Senate votes 97-1 to override Obama's veto of the bill, and the House follows with a 348-77 vote, thereby signing JASTA into law.
Lawsuits are filed in federal court in the Southern District of NY on behalf of many of the families who lost a family member and thousands more who were injured in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., seeking to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) responsible for helping some of the attackers.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan denies a motion from Saudi Arabia to dismiss lawsuits that allege the country provided financial and other support to those responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The Court permitted limited discovery against Saudi Arabia seeking information concerning the Saudi government role in supporting the first two hijackers who arrived in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Senate Letter to FBI Director Wray: Senators Richard Blumenthal, John Cornyn, Kristen Gillibrand, Charles Grassley and Charles Schumer. The letter urges “cooperation and transparency from their own government in gathering evidence where possible”. The letter also calls for the FBI to release all relevant documents pertaining to the events of September 11, 2001.
Attorneys for families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and others injured and affected by the attacks file subpoenas against the FBI and other government agencies to declassify documents, including a 2012 report on a still-active investigation by the FBI into direct Saudi involvement in assisting two of the hijackers, Saudis Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.
US Attorney General Barr invokes “State Secrets” on third name revealed in 2012 report. This is the first time state secrets have ever been invoked in a civil case.
Resolution 610: Passed in the Senate with unanimous consensus. The resolution urges for the release of information regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to the fullest extent possible. The resolution notes that “these documents are necessary for a full public understanding of the events” of the attacks and “the decision to maintain the classified status of many of these documents prevents the people of the United States from having access to information” about the attacks.
Thousands of documents critical to revealing the truth about the Saudi role in the attacks remain classified and those produced are heavily redacted by the U.S. government. After nearly two decades, our own government continues to quite literally cover up information relating to Saudi involvement in the acts of terrorism on 9/11, compromising the U.S.’s ability to deter future acts of terrorism and to hold accountable those responsible, and depriving the 9/11 families of valuable evidence to be used in their lawsuit.