The disclosure came in court documents filed in April, but were unsealed late last week in a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims accusing the Saudi government of aiding the attacks, Yahoo News reported.
The Saudi official, Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, had his name blocked out in all but one appearance in the document, with the FBI admitting to Yahoo it was a mistake.
Jarrah was a Saudi Foreign Ministry official assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000.
The strength of the evidence against al-Jarrah is not known, though some investigators believe he instructed others to help the terrorists settle down in the United States after they flew into Los Angeles in 2000, Yahoo reported.
The federal government’s official stance is based on the 2004 report on findings from the 9/11 Commission, which stated it “found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.”
The report found Saudi Arabia to be a primary funding source for al Qaeda, with the extremist organization raking in funds from “wealthy individuals and corrupt charities” but it couldn’t draw a connection to the Saudi government.
Saudi officials have also steadfastly denied aiding in the attacks. But a spokesman for the plaintiffs in the suit believes the screw-up is a major revelation.
“This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement,” said Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families told Yahoo. “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.”