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You are here News 9/11 Related US court orders photos of September 11 '20th hijacker' remain classified

US court orders photos of September 11 '20th hijacker' remain classified

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photos remain classifiedA federal appeals court on Tuesday said photos of a Saudi national imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay who US officials have said intended to be the “20th hijacker” in the September 11 attacks should stay classified, in the interest of protecting national security.

The second US circuit court of appeals in New York said the government plausibly showed that releasing images of Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was subject to interrogation techniques that a government official likened to torture, could endanger military personnel, diplomats and workers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents al-Qahtani in a federal lawsuit in Washington DC over his treatment, had sought the disclosure of photographs, videos and other audiovisual evidence of his confinement conditions under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Writing for a three-judge panel, however, Circuit Judge José A Cabranes said the release “could logically and plausibly harm national security because these images are uniquely susceptible to use by anti-American extremists as propaganda to incite violence against United States interests domestically and abroad”.

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