• 9/11 Victim Programs
  • Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
  • WTC Health Program (WTCHP)
  • Wrongful Death VCF Claims

Families of Victims Against 9/11 Terrorists being Spared the Death Penalty

Partner Troy Rosasco was recently quoted on DailyMail.com in the article 9/11 families call Biden administration plea deal a 'betrayal' 

Furious 9/11 families are urging the Biden administration not to spare the attackers the death penalty and are demanding the release of documents that could implicate Saudi Arabia. Brett Eagleson, who was 15 when he lost his father in the South Tower nearly 22 years ago, has called the proposed plea deal for the suspects awaiting trial at Guantanamo Bay a 'sickening betrayal.' For Eagleson, a plea deal would allow the suspects to avoid trial and prevent the revelation of answers that the families of the 2,977 Americans killed in the attack have been anxiously awaiting for years. 

Earlier this month, the Pentagon sent a letter to the families of 9/11 victims, explaining that they are exploring plea deals for chief architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators. These agreements would involve them "accepting criminal responsibility for their actions and pleading guilty, in exchange for not receiving the death penalty." This week, a group of 2,000 9/11 family members criticized the plans and wrote a letter to the Biden administration, demanding that they abandon the plea deals. Guilty pleas in exchange for a life sentence could potentially bring to a close the over two-decade-long case, the longest ever at the war court. 

However, relatives want answers that they have been waiting decades to hear, and they believe the proposed deal contradicts the long-standing policy that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists. "The Pentagon is embarrassed that it's taken them 20 years to try to prosecute terrorists," explained 9/11 victims' attorney Troy Rosasco. "They think this is going to be a one-day news cycle, and they're going to be able to sweep it under the rug." But guilty pleas resulting in life sentences could complicate President Biden's promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay. The facility has become increasingly secretive over its 20 years of operation, even as it costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year. 

In 2021, President Biden issued an executive order requiring government agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and the Justice Department, to release a trove of documents to the public, aiming to provide greater insight into how the 9/11 attack occurred. This move declassified over 900 pages of documents, reversing a decision made by Trump-era Attorney General Bill Barr, who had invoked the state secrets privilege to suppress information that might have indicated Saudi involvement in the attack. However, the government has been accused of failing to comply with Biden's order, releasing only a few sanitized summaries of the information, as claimed by the 9/11 families.

'They are terrified of what KSM and these other detainees will say about not only the Saudi role in 9/11 but about what the United States intelligence agencies knew. And they don't want information to see the light of day,' Brett Eagleson (pictured above), founder of 9/11 Justice said. 'The same DOJ and FBI that has been blocking the 9/11 families from receiving all of the 9/11 evidence are now sending us letters telling us that there most likely won’t be a trial for [Mohammed] preventing that same evidence from ever being made public - all to cover up for Saudi Arabia and U.S. government's embarrassment,' said McGinley in agreement. 

Further complicating matters, President Biden is reportedly considering a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (pictured above) next month at the G-20 conference in India. During this meeting, the two leaders could discuss a potential Saudi-Israel deal to normalize relations, which would be a significant achievement for the U.S. president. "Long ago, the U.S. made a political decision not to embarrass the Saudis," said Eagleson. "But we are asking that the 9/11 families be included in any deal: we want an apology, we want an admission of guilt, we want closure." The Saudi government has consistently denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks and is working to modernize and strengthen its ties with the West under bin Salman's leadership. 

In 2000, a Saudi graduate student named Omar al-Bayoumi claimed to have met the first two 9/11 hijackers by chance and assisted them with flying lessons, bank accounts, and a property lease. Initially, both the FBI and the 9/11 Commission believed he was unaware of their sinister plans. However, last year, the FBI released documents confirming that al-Bayoumi was a Saudi intelligence agent. He worked with religious officials and reported to the Saudi ambassador in Washington. The hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, were known to both Saudi intelligence and the CIA as al-Qaeda operatives. The CIA had tracked them but lost them in 2000. Shockingly, the CIA only alerted the FBI about their presence in the U.S. a month before the 9/11 attacks, more than a year after they had entered the country. 

Families of 9/11 victims believe there are unreleased documents that could strengthen the link between Saudi Arabia and the attackers. Refusing to release these documents, they argue, protects both the kingdom from embarrassment and U.S. intelligence failures. Five al-Qaeda terrorists are accused of hijacking planes in the 9/11 attacks, leading to nearly 3,000 deaths. Delays in their trial result from pre-trial proceedings, including CIA torture and COVID-19 delays. Despite nearly a decade since their arraignment, a trial date is still pending. Taxpayers have spent an estimated $161.5 million housing 9/11 mastermind KSM alone. Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12446317/9-11-families-call-Biden-administrations-deal-spare-terrorists-death-penalty-sickening-betrayal.html?ito=msngallery