Airlines Sue FBI, CIA for Access to 9-11 Investigators

Five U.S. airlines and airline maker Boeing (BA) sued the CIA and the FBI in Manhattan federal court today.

The firms want to interview federal investigators about whether the aviation industry is to blame for the September 11th terrorist attacks or whether it had acted reasonably.

The separate lawsuits in Manhattan federal court also asked a judge to order the government to let the firms gather the information as part of their defense against lawsuits brought by victims or families of victims of the 2001 attacks.

In the CIA lawsuit, the firms asked to interview the deputy chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit in 2001 and an FBI special agent assigned to the unit.

In the FBI lawsuit, the companies asked to interview a limited number of former and current FBI agents who were part of investigations into al-Qaida and al-Qaida operatives before and after September 11th, 2001.

Forty-one cases were filed on behalf of 42 victims in Manhattan federal court because some victims decided against accepting payouts from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.