Report Detailing Possible Saudi Ties to 9/11 Released

Report Detailing Possible Saudi Ties to 9/11 ReleasedReport Detailing Possible Saudi Ties to 9/11 Released

The US Congress on Friday released a long-classified section of the official report on the Sept. 11 attacks, describing an array of potential links between some of the hijackers and officials in Saudi Arabia.

The 28 pages of the report on the 2002 investigation focus on potential Saudi government ties to the 2001 aircraft attacks on the United States, in which nearly 3,000 people died.

The report said the alleged links had not been independently verified, Reuters reported.

The pages were released by the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee after years of wrangling in Washington between Congress and different administrations, Republicans and Democrats, and urging by families of those killed.

“The matter is now finished,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Washington. Asked whether the report exonerated the kingdom, he replied: “Absolutely.”

The release of the previously classified pages is unlikely to end the controversy over the role of Saudi Arabia, an important US partner in the Middle East. Many US officials who opposed their release had worried they would damage diplomatic relations.

Fifteen of the 19 Sept.-11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

“According to various FBI documents and CIA memorandum, some of the September 11 hijackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government,” the report said, giving a catalog of alleged links.

They included reported contacts between Saudis in California, money possibly sent from the Saudi royal family to the hijackers and even a statement that a reported Saudi Interior Ministry official stayed at the same Virginia hotel as one hijacker in September 2001.

Legislation that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia has been passed unanimously by the US Senate and is making its way through the House, despite President Barack Obama’s veto threat.

Sept. 11 families made clear the pages’ release would not stop their push for the legislation.

“Congress has to stand up for the interests of the thousands of innocent Americans who lost loved ones on 9/11,” one group said in a statement.

White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters before the pages were released that they would show no evidence of Saudi complicity.