FBI fighting release of Tampa 9/11 investigation documents

Attorney says 15,000 docs housed in Tampa

TAMPA - "We'd like to know what's in those documents," said Miami attorney Tom Julin.

Thousands of classified documents housed at a Tampa FBI field office could be the key to unlocking more information about an intriguing Tampa Bay connection to the 9/11 attacks.

 "Up until now, it's not been known that there was this massive collection of records in Tampa that related to those bombings," said Julin.

Julin is a Miami attorney fighting the justice department for access to what he says could be hundreds of thousands of never released FBI documents about 9/11.

He represents a South Florida independent newspaper the "Broward Bulldog" filing a freedom of information lawsuit to explore a Sarasota family and their alleged links to the highjackers. 

Though the FBI said publicly after an investigation Abdulalziz al-Hijji and his family were not connected to the terror plot.

"The concern here is that there was a network of Saudis, not only in Sarasota, but throughout the United States who were helping the terrorists who committed the attacks on 9/11 and that this was never disclosed to Congress, that it was covered up for some reason," said Julin.

Julin shared 31 new court documents released from the Tampa office by the United States Justice Department. They detail the investigation into a Saudi family who lived in Sarasota's upscale Prestancia community. The family abruptly left the country days before 9/11 leaving behind clothing, jewelry and furniture and no forwarding address.

"The documents showed that one of the family members actually attended the same flight school that Mohammed Atta and other terrorists were training at, at Huffman Aviation," said Julin.

The reports are heavily censored,  marked "secret", and only are a sliver of what Julin says remains in a Tampa building's in a restricted area.

"The connections are very solid and that's why we think the FBI has not given us nearly the full set of records," he said.

Twelve years later, Tampa's 9/11 connection may still be ambiguous but Julin says a federal trial date to settle the matter may shed more light on the mystery.

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