October 11, 2019
Mr. Christopher A. Wray
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
We are many of the 9/11 families of almost 3,000 murdered victims of the largest terror attack in our country's history, as well as many of those who sustained horrific permanent injuries. As you know, there are also thousands of brave first responders, recovery workers, and volunteers who toiled to recover the dead for the families who are now very sick and dying due to their exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.
Aware of these facts as you are, our question to you is very simple:
Why are you continuing to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its role in this crime of mass murder?
You continue to keep secret thousands of pages of documents, many of which will further demonstrate and support evidence that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder of thousands of American citizens and the injuries to many more. After reviewing thousands of pages and hundreds of exhibits, a federal judge in New York ruled that our case will move forward. And yet the FBI continues to put up roadblocks to our pursuit of justice.
In the weeks leading up to the recent 18th anniversary of the attacks, hundreds of 9/11 family members made calls to the FBI encouraging the Bureau to finally release its 9/11 investigation documents, as mandated by U.S. Senate Resolution 610. Below is just a sampling of some of your FBI personnel’s disgraceful responses to these family members.
“There’s nothing I can do about YOUR problem.” Then we were hung up on.
“Call the White House.”
“I think I have a mental and substance abuse hotline number here for you somewhere.”
“Not you people again. Get over it!” Then we were hung up on.
“LEAVE ME ALONE! I’m working on a criminal matter.” Then we were hung up on.
As America’s FBI Director you have set the tone for the insulting and unacceptable nature of these responses to those whose loved ones were murdered by terrorists. Your demeanor and dismissive answers to Senator Blumenthal during the July 23 Judiciary Committee Hearing are in lock step with how Americans have been treated by the FBI.
To be sure, we know there are patriotic FBI special agents and others who have gone way beyond the call of duty in pursuing the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We are grateful to them and honor and cherish them, even though we do not know all of their names.
You took an oath when you joined the FBI, Director Wray, which we think you are now violating:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALLenemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same . . .
To date, with the exception of Moussaoui, no one has been arrested, indicted or convicted for the largest mass murder in U.S. history, even in the face of clear evidence about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s complicity. As the FBI continues to protect Saudi Arabia for its role in these attacks, the families ask: Why do we have an FBI? Are you proud of this record, this injustice, Director Wray?
As FBI Director, if you believe the Saudis are innocent of aiding the plot then simply release the information for the court and for all Americans to see. If you continue to hide information then as FBI Director you are responsible for protecting those foreign entities who aided the terrorists and for violating the public trust.
On March 9, 2019, you visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York. There you addressed a class of new FBI agents. Part of your opening comments to those new recruits included the following statement: “There’s nothing more important than the work we do, the people we do the work with, and the people we do the work for.” You told those recruits “that we always need to do the right thing, in the right way.”
You mentioned the names of two specific FBI agents, Lenny Hatton and John O’Neill, “of the FBI family” who were killed during the attacks. These agents made the ultimate sacrifice on that day. Their families, too, are 9/11 family members. Please stop hiding, Director Wray, the facts of what the Saudis did to your colleagues and to our family members and our great country on that day.
You ended your address by telling those future FBI Agents to “stay focused on the people we do the work for.” This statement rings hollow. By resisting transparency you are failing in your responsibilities to the 9/11 families and America.
As you choose to wrap yourself in our grief while continuing to obstruct the pursuit of justice, we are left with a simple response. As 9/11 family members and as those injured and sick from the attacks, we hereby request that you never again visit our hallowed grounds of the 9/11 Memorial in your official capacity as FBI Director or in any capacity in which you are tasked with protecting our nation’s liberty, freedom and justice.
We are hopeful that there will come a day that an FBI Director will actually stand up against Saudi Arabia and for countless Americans harmed by these attacks. We don’t understand, Director Wray, why you choose not to be that Director. We urge you to immediately declassify and un-redact the 9/11 investigative documents you continue to keep hidden in favor of Saudi interests.
October 11, 2019
Mr. Michael C. McGarrity
Federal Bureau of Investigation
On September 11, 2019, while most Americans came together to remember the events of that horrific day 18 years ago you, Mr. McGarrity, were likely finalizing your declaration that was submitted to the U.S. District Court in New York on September 12, 2019. Your declaration stated that “. . . in the capacity as Assistant Director of the FBI” that you would withhold documents regarding the 9/11 attacks as being a “state secret privilege because it could be expected to cause significant harm to national security.”
State secrets? Really? Eighteen years later and there has been virtually no accountability for this mass murder of your fellow Americans. What is truly more damaging, Mr. McGarrity: protecting the perpetrators, thereby encouraging future such attacks, or instead revealing information to those who need it and have a right to it about those responsible for the attack on our nation?
Our national security agencies failed to protect America on September 11, 2001, and you and the FBI continue to fail us 18 years later.
As a reminder, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was passed over a presidential veto in September 2016. It is the law of the land. Your declaration, however, continues to obstruct the implementation of that law. On September 26, 2018, the U.S. Senate essentially reaffirmed JASTA, unanimously passing Resolution 610 calling on the FBI and others in the federal government to declassify its 9/11 investigation documents. Your declaration continues to ignore the will of our elected officials and the American people.
Your declaration makes several outlandish claims, not the least of which is that “the FBI expects to continue the investigation over the long term with the goal of bringing criminal charges.” It has been 18 years and the FBI has brought a total of one charge, and that against Moussaoui, a man FBI headquarters ordered deported prior to 9/11.
You wrap yourself in our grief by stating that you worked at the World Trade Center and that you have dedicated your life to preventing terrorist attacks. Such hypocrisy. Your ongoing actions to protect the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered work to prevent terrorist attacks. Rather, by withholding key documents that would further demonstrate the complicity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks, you are indeed helping to clear the path for future such attacks.
You also undermine our pursuit of justice by secretly communicating with the judges in our case against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as we have recently learned. After years of hiding the information about a third Saudi official who assisted the hijackers, you finally disclosed that name under pressure. You then disparage your own document and the dedicated FBI agents by whispering secretly to the judges. This behavior is a despicable misuse of our courts, squashes needed and deserved transparency, and continues to demonstrate the FBI’s destructive willingness to continue protecting Saudi Arabia.
Further, the FBI is obligated to keep the victims of crimes informed as to the status of any ongoing related investigation. For years, however, the FBI has failed to provide the plaintiffs in this case any information regarding your so-called investigation. Instead, you obstruct our pursuit of justice publicly and work behind the scenes secretly in communications to the judges in our case.
You also claim, Mr. McGarrity that “the FBI expects to continue the investigation over the long term with the goal of bringing criminal charges against all individuals responsible for the attacks.” To us, this statement is a farce and an outright deception. We know as well as you do that the FBI “investigation” of the 9/11 attacks is “open” in name only. Not only do you refuse and, worse, prevent transparency and assistance, your efforts to intimidate retired, informed FBI agents from assisting us is an active attempt to thwart our investigation, since you have abandoned your own. And, above all, qualifying the investigation as “open” is a ploy by the FBI to keep hidden the documents and information from us and from the American people.
We call on you and the FBI to finally do the right thing, Mr. McGarrity. Stop the deception and the resistance to transparency. Own up to your responsibilities. Immediately declassify and un-redact the information to which we deserve access and which would only serve to better protect and further the interests of all Americans.