A federal judge in New York says airlines and other companies in the industry that are being sued by terrorism victims can't question FBI agents about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The defendants wanted to depose the agents and sought access to other evidence related to the investigation of the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people to show at trial that the government's failure to catch the terrorists and stop the attacks mitigates and excuses any alleged fault on the aviation companies' part.

The government objected.

Thursday's ruling says the defendants have also argued that the terrorists likely would have succeeded even if the defendants had exercised due care.

The judge plans to set a trial date for the lawsuits on July 28.