The long-classified documents detailing the Saudi Arabian government’s ties to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks was published by Congress on Friday. The secret document, also know as “the 28 pages”, was part of a 2002 congressional investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks and has been classified since the report was completed. Procedural steps needed to be taken before the report is completed.
While there is no “smoking gun” Saudis connected to the government may have helped some of the 9/11 hijacking terrorists.
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government,” said the a section of the report released by the House Intelligence Committee. Some portions were blacked out.
“There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged to be Saudi intelligence officers.” said the report and that these allegations were “speculative and to be independently verified.”
The report also said that Saudis refused to cooperate with the US’s hunt for Osama bin Laden because they were afraid of retaliation.
Several members of congress and family members of the victims of the attacks have long-awaited the release. Former Senator Bob Graham, the chairman of the committee that completed the report, has been pushing the White House to release the documents for years. He states he is “very pleased” by the news. He told CNN:
It is going to increase the questioning of the Saudis’ role supporting the hijackers, I think of this almost as the 28 pages are sort of the cork in the wine bottle. And once it’s out, hopefully the rest of the wine itself will start to pour out.
Pressure from the victims’ families caused President Obama to announce he would declassify the information back in April. His promise is just now coming to fruition. Sources told CNN that intelligence agencies have all reviewed and approved the release of the pages with “minimal redactions.”
The Saudi government is also anticipating the release of the report. They have long denied the allegations in the report. The hope that releasing the information will allow them to respond to any and all allegations.