Magistrate slaps Kreindler law firm for leaking 9/11 suspect’s deposition

Musaed al Jarrah, Saudi diplomat and 9/11 suspect

By Dan Christensen,

In a blow to thousands of 9/11 families, a federal magistrate has ruled that their New York law firm and chief investigator “willfully violated” the court’s “protective orders” by disclosing to a reporter the deposition of a Saudi diplomat “to embarrass Saudi Arabia”. Arabia and get an advantage in this case.

US Magistrate Sarah Netburn immediately sealed her order. But the docket notes on it say: “When the Court attempted to investigate this violation, Kreindler & Kreindler engaged in a sustained campaign of delay and obstruction.”

The Saudi diplomat whose deposition was leaked, Musaed al Jarrah, has long been secretly implicated in a leading role in the 9/11 plot. His name only became public in May 2020, when it was leaked by a government filing error in the case.

The “embarrassment” cited by Netburn appears to refer to the fact that FBI agents found “numerous” child pornography images on Jarrah’s computer in 2004-2005. Testimony during Netburn’s public inquiry into the leak late last year did not establish where or why the FBI examined Jarrah’s computer.

US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn

Netburn found the penalties appropriate. For Kreindler investigator John Fawcett, that means he is officially “prohibited from further involvement in this case in any capacity.” The law firm previously announced that it had parted ways with Fawcett.


As for Kreindler & Kreindler, the main company targeting the Saudis, it “will be immediately removed from the plaintiffs’ executive committees (PECs) and required to pay the fees and attorneys’ fees for Saudi Arabia associated with this violation”, says the folder. . The PEC is the court-appointed group of attorneys that plays a leading role on behalf of all firms representing clients in related civil matters that are grouped together in Multi-District Litigation.

Lawyer James Kreindler

“One year after the entry of this order, PECs must submit a letter to the Court certifying that they have checked with plaintiffs’ attorney and confirmed that Fawcett has not worked on this case for any party during the previous year,” the filing said. .

Netburn sealed his order until September 28 to give the PECs, Saudi Arabia and the FBI time to seek redactions before it was made public.

Notably, the filing makes no mention of the court referring the case to the local US Attorney’s office for investigation and possible prosecution.

Saudi Arabia is represented by the law firm Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick of Washington, DC. The company did not respond to an emailed request for comment.


Brett Eagleson, a Kreindler client who lost his father on 9/11 in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, called Netburn’s decision Wednesday “the most egregious decision I have ever seen.” Something must be happening. She blows the case up, pulling our lawyer out. All John Fawcett did was expose a child pornographer.

The Kreindler Company issued this statement: “We plan to appeal the magistrate’s order, which completely misrepresents and misrepresents the facts and the record for the benefit of the Saudi government.

Brett Eagleson

“We take our obligations to the Court seriously. Unfortunately, the magistrate’s response to this episode – which included allowing the Saudi government access to lawyers’ work product prepared for victims of US terrorism and allowing them to cross-examine Kreindler & Kreindler’s lawyers – is unjustifiable. and unprecedented. In short, the Magistrate allowed the Saudis to attack our firm, which for 20 years has been fighting tirelessly to hold the Kingdom accountable.

“The extensive testimony presented at the hearing and the complete evidentiary record demonstrate that an independent consultant who breached the protective order did so without the knowledge or encouragement of anyone at Kreindler & Kreindler. After Upon learning that this individual was responsible, Kreindler & Kreindler immediately notified the magistrate, terminated the consultant’s access to its systems, and has since taken steps to strengthen those systems to protect all material designated confidential.

“We will continue to lead the charge on behalf of the 9/11 families to hold the Kingdom accountable for the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. Our goal remains to pursue this case in accordance with the Court’s orders and achieve justice for the 9/11 families.

Fawcett’s job was to manage and assess all of the 9/11 discovery documents the company obtained as it seeks to hold Saudi Arabia financially responsible for the 2001 attacks that killed 2,996 and injured 25. 000 others. Fawcett testified that he disclosed the transcript of Jarrah’s deposition to Yahoo! New journalist Michael Isikoff in July 2021 due to concerns that Jarrah was possibly consuming and trafficking child pornography.


Isikoff reported that FBI agents investigating 9/11 questioned Jarrah “at least three times and even threatened him, confronting him with child pornography photos found on his home computer in an apparent attempt to ‘turn him’. and to obtain his cooperation, according to a closed-door deposition from the Saudi national taken last month by lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims.

“But the gambit doesn’t seem to have worked out,” the story continued. “After admitting to being confronted by an FBI agent with a photo of a naked child removed from his computer, Jarrah testified that he basically told the agent to go on a hike.

“Then I said to him, ‘If you’re here to threaten me with the photos, go ahead, go to the embassy,'” Jarrah testified. “Then I got in my car and drove off.” He never spoke to the FBI again, he later said, according to Yahoo! New.

While little news appears to have been in Jarrah’s 610-page deposition, Fawcett’s leak violated court-imposed protective orders to prevent certain sensitive national security and privacy information from becoming public. Plaintiffs’ attorneys testified that these orders kept thousands of pages of information off the public record.

The irony is that since then the FBI has declassified and made public a flurry of enlightening new documents about the Saudi government’s involvement in 9/11 – including extensive information about Musaed al Jarrah’s role.

The release of documents that the Trump administration said were ‘state secrets’ the disclosure of which would harm national security came in the wake of President Biden’s executive order last September requiring the FBI to conduct a review. of declassification regarding files regarding Operation Encore – a formerly secret investigation into the Saudi government’s apparent complicity in 9/11.


Thousands of Encore discs have been released. Among other things, these archives document numerous links between US-based Saudi “personnel and entities” and the 9/11 attacks.

In 2016, amid Freedom of Information Act litigation, the FBI released Florida bulldog early documents on Operation Encore. At the time, this codename was kept secret, as was Jarrah’s name.

What was clear at the time, however, was that a man, later identified as Jarrah, had “assigned” two Saudi men from southern California to help Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two of the five members of the al-Qaeda team that crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

A 2021 FBI report first identified Jarrah as also working for Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Presidency (GIP). A heavily redacted section of the report says that as early as 2001, the Saudi embassy’s Islamic affairs section – of which Jarrah was the director – was one of the largest spy operations in the world with around 50 officers.

A January 2010 FBI report that only recently became public states: “It has been discovered that Musaed al Jarrah may have played a leading role in the overall coordination of logistical support for the hijackers of 9/11 Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar… Al Jarrah oversaw the handling of the hijackers through his subordinates Fahad al Thumairy and Omar Ahmed al Bayoumi and through personal contacts with the hijackers at many times.

Thumairy was a Saudi diplomat and religious leader in Los Angeles. A June 2017 FBI report described Bayoumi as “paid co-opted from the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency via Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud.” Information obtained by al Bayoumi on Saudi community persons of interest in Los Angeles and San Diego and other matters, which met certain PITF intelligence requirements, would be passed to Bandar. Bandar would then inform the GIP…”

Jarrah, who worked for Bandar and in turn supervised Thumairy, who has denied any connection to 9/11, is named in other declassified FBI reports written as early as 2003 as being “strongly connected/linked to Saudi Sunni extremists operating in the United States -United”.

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