22nd anniversary of 9/11 brings new pain for Arizona family members of victims

Some families are frustrated that the PGA merged with LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia. The country is accused of funding the 9/11 attacks.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 10:14 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) Twenty-two years after the 9/11 attacks, there is new outrage for victims and their families. There are possible plea negotiations where the FBI may take the death penalty off the table for Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the attacks, and his four counterparts.

Michael McAvoy, who lives in Scottsdale, says the grief will never go away. He lost both his older brother, a firefighter, and his best friend, who worked in the World Trade Center. He says the pain this time of year never gets easier, but this year, with talks of these plea negotiations, comes new anger.

The prosecution of Mohammed and his counterparts has been years in the making and has been delayed several times by legal disputes. There is still no trial date sent.

The FBI and Pentagon reportedly sent letters to family members of victims who died asking them how they would feel if the death penalty was removed. McAvoy did not receive a letter but says if this is true, he can’t understand why the mastermind behind the attacks would not be put to death.

“If anyone is going to get the death penalty in the history of America, certainly the guy who thought of the plan to attack our country and to kill innocent civilians on purpose should have been put to death a long time ago,” McAvoy said.

McAvoy also says the recent merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia-based LIV Golf has added to the pain, as some say Saudi operatives played a key role in the 9/11 attacks. He says it’s a shame that it seems money has become more important than anything else.

McAvoy says he will spend the day at the Tempe Healing Field honoring his brother and best friend. But he says even two decades later, it never gets any easier.

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