Congress finally released a 28-page secret report Friday that details Saudi Arabia’s connection and support of some of the 9/11 hijackers who committed the largest terror attack in American history when they killed 2,996 people.
The “28 pages” were part of the 9/11 Commission’s report, but were deemed classified by the government and kept secret for the past 13 years despite intense lobbying efforts to have them released.
The Obama administration delivered the secret 28 pages and a letter from then CIA director George Tenet to Congress Friday, according to CNN.
“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.”
Many U.S. officials who saw the secret “28 pages” lobbied for their release including former Sen. Bob Graham and Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan, according to The Intercept.
“[The pages] confirm that much of the rhetoric preceding the U.S. attack on Iraq was terribly wrong.”
The report falls short of directly condemning the Saudi government for the 9/11 terror attacks, saying many of the connections between the Saudi government and the Sept. 11 terrorists is circumstantial. It does, however, show multiple links between Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States, and the 9/11 hijackers.
It also goes on to criticize the U.S. intelligence community for not effectively sharing information that could have stopped the 9/11 terror attacks that claimed the lives of thousands, according to CNN.
“Prior to September 11th, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally.’”
No 'smoking gun' tying Saudi Arabia to 9/11 attacks in secret 28 pages https://t.co/BeXfbpFxQq— TIME.com (@TIME) July 15, 2016
The report details how two Saudi nationals in California, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassan, gave financial and other support to two of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, when they arrived in San Diego. Bassan himself was funded by none other than the Saudi ambassador, according to the USA Today.
“On at least one occasion Bassnan received a check directly from Pince Bandar’s account.”
It also notes that The King Fahad Mosque in Culver City near Los Angeles, widely known for its anti-Western views, received substantial amounts of money from Saudi’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The imams at the mosque may have been in contact with al-Midhar and al-Hazmi, the two hijackers who landed in San Diego.
Also in the report: Abu Zubaydah, a 9/11 planner captured in Pakistan in 2002, had the phone number of a U.S. company hired to manage the Colorado home of the Saudi ambassador. The ambassador had longstanding ties to the family of Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush.
The report notes the Saudi government’s reluctance to hand over any information on Osama bin Laden and his whereabouts, according to the USA Today.
“The U.S. Government’s hope of eventually obtaining Saudi cooperation on this matter was contrary to Saudi national interests.”
Before releasing the secret “28 pages” to the American public, the two top member of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees reminded everyone that the report consisted largely of unconfirmed circumstantial evidence.
Newly declassified pages say 9/11 attackers may have had some Saudi help https://t.co/sOCSpQHrwZ— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) July 15, 2016
They went on to say that the information in the report generated leads that were investigated 14 years ago by the U.S. intelligence community, according to the USA Today. In its final conclusion, the 9/11 Commission decided the Saudi government didn’t knowingly support or finance the Sept. 11 terror attacks or the al-Qaeda terror group.
“We need to put an end to conspiracy theories and idle speculation that do nothing to shed light on the 9/11 attacks.”
The Saudi ambassador welcomed the release of the report, saying it finally proved his country was innocent of any wrongdoing in the 9/11 terror attacks.
[Photo by Marty Lederhandler/AP Images]