The Federal Bureau of Investigation has mistakenly revealed the identity of a Saudi diplomat who is being suspected of helping the Al Qaeda terrorists in carrying out the 9/11 attack.
The mistake about the identity of the Saudi embassy official was made in a declaration by an FBI official in response to a lawsuit by families of 9/11 victims who accuse Saudi Arabia’s government of involvement in the attacks, Yahoo news reports.
Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was mistakenly named by a top FBI official in the court declaration filed last month – in a move described by a 9/11 families’ representative as a “giant screw-up”.
Al-Jarrah was a mid-level Saudi foreign ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC in 1999 and 2000.
He was in charge of supervising the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centres in the US, according to the report.
The declaration, written by Jill Sanborn, assistant director of the FBI, was filed last month but unsealed last week.
“I have been advised that with regard to Defendant the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…Plaintiffs allege that its agents and employees directly and knowingly assisted the hijackers and plotters who carried out the 9/11 attacks,” Sanborn writes in the document.
It represents a “major breakthrough” in the lawsuit, brought by families of the victims, that accuses the Saudi government of complicity.
The declaration provides an apparent confirmation that FBI agents investigating the attacks believe they have uncovered a link between the hijackers and the Saudi Embassy in Washington, according to Yahoo.
A senior U.S. government official confirmed to the news organization that the disclosure was made in error.
al-Jarrah is among nine current or former Saudi officials that lawyers for the families suspect hold important information about the case.
Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families whose father was killed in the attacks, said: “This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement.
“It demonstrates there was a hierarchy of command that’s coming from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs [in Los Angeles] to the hijackers.”