9/11 inquiry being released 13 years later

The US Congress on Friday will receive 28 classified pages of the official report on the September 11 attacks on the United States, House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said.

Congress was "not able to corroborate any evidence that high ranking Saudi officials or the Saudi government itself was involved or had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, but there certainly are questions raised within these 28 or 29 pages that the American people have a right to see", said Schiff, who has read the 28 pages unredacted.

"Since 2002, the 9/11 Commission and several government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, have investigated the contents of the "28 Pages" and have confirmed that neither the Saudi government, nor senior Saudi officials, nor any person acting on behalf of the Saudi government provided any support or encouragement for these attacks", Al-Saud said.

"A number of FBI agents and Central Intelligence Agency officers complained to the Joint Inquiry about a lack of Saudi cooperation in terrorism investigations both before and after the September 11 attacks", citing one New York FBI agent who said "the Saudis have been useless and obstructionist for years".

But the then president, George W. Bush, ordered that 28 pages of the report be classified to protect the methods and identities of U.S. intelligence sources. President Obama ordered a declassification review of the chapter, which Congress released on Friday. They show possible conduits of money from the Saudi royal family to Saudis living in the United States and two of the hijackers in San Diego. The year-long Congressional investigation also expressed anger about gaps in USA intelligence about Saudi Arabia's possible links to terror, deeming them "unacceptable" given the "magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to United States national security".

The pages have been made public by the House Intelligence Committee after intense pressure from the families of 9/11 victims and Congressional lawmakers.

They said the commission and its staff spent 18 months investigating "all the leads contained in the 28 pages, and many more".

The 9/11 Families and Victims welcomed the release, but said the allegations about Saudi involvement have not been silenced. "Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide", the Saudi ambassador to the United States at the time, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said in 2003.

Several investigations into 9/11 followed the congressional inquiry, which released its report - minus the secret chapter - in December 2002.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said its agreement to the release is not an indication that the intelligence community agrees with the pages' accuracy or concurs with the information it contains.

The United States probed links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks, finding multiple suspicions but no proven ties, documents declassified Friday showed. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind. Kean and Hamilton also complained that various government agencies withheld relevant information. "I think of this nearly as the 28 pages are sort of the cork in the wine bottle".

The families released a lengthy statement to the media today that was harshly critical of the Saudis, accusing them of "making every possible effort to deflect the content of the 28 pages". It did not exclude the likelihood that Saudi-sponsored charities diverted funds to al-Qaida.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubier told reporters Friday that his government welcomed the release of the 28 pages and said the documents should finally put to rest questions about Saudi Arabia's suspected role in the September 11 terrorist attack.

They called for the public to review related documents from the director of national intelligence that "debunk numerous allegations contained in the declassified section of the report".

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