Mohamed Atta photos (FBI)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking # AP-2014-00577
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

1) Copies of the images contained on the negatives which were recovered from a passenger who was on board Spirit Airline Flight 460 on August 23, 2001, and was submitted to the FBI Laboratory on March 12, 2002 and March 26, 2002 and are now specimens under laboratory numbers 02313019 HC HD and 020328252 HC HD.

2) All communication between the person who submitted the pictures which are now specimens under laboratory numbers 02313019 HC HD and 020328252 HC HD and the FBI.

3) All pictures of Mohamed Atta in any FBI file taken between January 1, 2001 and September 11, 2001.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jason Smathers

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Smathers,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A no responsive documents response.

From: Jason Smathers

I appeal. I requested the following:
1) Copies of the images contained on the negatives which were recovered from a passenger who was on board Spirit Airline Flight 460 on August 23, 2001, and was submitted to the FBI Laboratory on March 12, 2002 and March 26, 2002 and are now specimens under laboratory numbers 02313019 HC HD and 020328252 HC HD.

2) All communication between the person who submitted the pictures which are now specimens under laboratory numbers 02313019 HC HD and 020328252 HC HD and the FBI.

3) All pictures of Mohamed Atta in any FBI file taken between January 1, 2001 and September 11, 2001.

I appeal because:
(a) Only item 3 is referenced in the denial letter, it seems as though records mentioned in #1 and #2 were not searched for.
(b) The existence of these records is clear as they are referenced in other previously released records.
(c) The records mentioned in item #1 cannot be found by doing a google search nor can they be found on the exhibits page from the information provided.
(d) I have requested more than just the photographs, even if the photographs requested in #1 are posted somewhere online, I wish to see them in their proper context, i.e., how do I know what picture is cited as "02313019 HC HD" unless the FbI provides the record in its proper context?
(e) all other reasons deemed appropriate by the appeals authority.

Thank you.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Jason Smathers

Can you please provide a Vaughn Index?

A Vaughn Index is a document that agencies prepare to justify each withholding of information under a FOIA exemption. The term arose from a case captioned Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1974), in which the court required such an index to determine the validity of the agency’s withholdings in the case.

A Vaughn Index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption." Citizens Comm'n on Human Rights v. FDA, 45 F.3d 1325, 1326 n.1 (9th Cir. 1995).

Thank you.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: Jason Smathers

I appeal the withholding of documents responsive to this request. Mohamed Atta is dead and is not under investigation. 9/11 was over 12 years ago and will surely always be of interest to law enforcement, however, after 12 years the interest in public knowledge far out ways any law enforcement value of secrecy. Further, the existence of the records in question has already been made known through earlier release of FBI documents via FOIA. The admission of the existence of a picture including the description of it and the picture itself is of minor consequence. Finally, it is reasonable to expect some segregable portion of the records to be available even if there is a legitimate (b)(7) exemption to a portion of them.

For the above reasons and all others deemed appropriate by the appeals authority, I appeal.

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Smathers,

If you are not satisfied with the results of your request you may file an appeal with the Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice. Please follow the instructions below when submitting your appeal to OIP.

Please note: Do not submit your appeal to the FBI.

Appeals should be directed in writing to the following:

Director,
Office of Information Policy (OIP)
U. S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, N. W., Suite 11050
Washington, D, C. 20530-0001.

Your appeal must be received by OIP within sixty (60) days from the date of your letter in order to be considered timely. The envelope and the letter should be clearly marked, “Freedom of Information Appeal.” Please cite the FOIPA Request Number assigned to your request so that it may be indentified easily.

OIP’s Customer Service Number is #202-514-3642.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/Legal Admin. Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: MuckRock

Hello,

Attached please find a copy of appeals correspondence sent to the attention of the OIP Director by mail today. Please confirm receipt of both the electronic copy and the mailed appeal.

Thank you.

From: OIP-NoReply

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AP-2014-00577.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AP-2014-00577.

Thank you for your help.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 15, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AP-2014-00577.

Thank you for your help.

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