US releases classified document weighing Saudi ties in 9-11 attack

The US government released a long-classified document Friday that had examined the possible role of the Saudi government or Saudi officials in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The information in the congressional report had been weighed by the independent commission that investigated the attacks and the panel had concluded there was no Saudi government involvement in the attacks, but victims' families had called for the report to be released publicly.

US intelligence officials have spent months vetting the classified report to determine whether it could be made public.

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said the 28-pages had previously been "withheld in full, because it contained still-sensitive national security and law enforcement information."

But the intelligence community had now "determined that the harm to national security by releasing portions ... of the report at this time is outweighed by the public interest in additional transparency concerning the Committees’ findings."

The report notes that some of the terrorists who flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington "were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected with the Saudi government."

But the White House noted the pages do not change US government conclusions and said that the 9-11 Commission had already concluded there was no official Saudi involvement in the plot.

The Saudi ambassador Abdullah Al-Saud said the kingdom welcomed the release of the previously redacted pages and that those who have evaluated the contents 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."

"We hope the release of these pages will clear up, once and for all, any lingering questions or suspicions about Saudi Arabia’s actions, intentions, or long-term friendship with the United States."

Last update: Fri, 15/07/2016 - 22:55
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