The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accidentally disclosed the name of a Saudi diplomat suspected of aiding two Al-Qaeda hijackers in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, a report said.
The mistake was made in a declaration by an FBI official in response to a lawsuit by families of 9/11 victims who say the Saudi government was involved in the attacks.
The filing by Jill Sanborn, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, was released in April but unsealed late last week, according to the Middle East Monitor on Wednesday.
Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was mistakenly named in the declaration. 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 the Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centers in the US, according to the report.
The authorities believe that Al-Jarrah instructed two people – Fahad al-Thumairy, a cleric, and Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi agent – to help two of the hijackers settle in the US in January 2000 ahead of the attacks.
Al-Jarrah’s whereabouts remain unknown, but he is believed to be in Saudi Arabia, Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the families, told Yahoo News.
The news website said it had contacted the US Justice Department on Monday, but officials notified the court and withdrew the FBI’s declaration from the public docket.
“The document was incorrectly filed in this case,” the docket now reads, said the report.