By James Reinl
UNITED NATIONS (AA) - The Trump administration has reportedly agreed to reveal the identity of a Saudi Arabian official who played an organizational role ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes on the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Thursday that the Department of Justice agreed to disclose the name of the individual, threatening a diplomatic rift with a key Middle Eastern ally.
Citing the “exceptional nature of the case,” the FBI said it would identify the Saudi official but rejected calls to release any additional information, answering a request related to a law case, the newspaper reported.
Lawyers for relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks previously asked the government to disclose the name of the individual, which appeared in a document from a 2012 FBI probe into the tragedy.
The individual is believed to be a Saudi official who allegedly assisted two of the hijackers in southern California in the run-up to the hijacking of passenger jets, which shocked the world 18 years ago this week.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied any connection to the strikes. Some 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was from a prominent Saudi family.
Coordinated by the al-Qaeda network, the attacks killed nearly 3,000 people when jets crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia and a field in Pennsylvania.