Twenty-eight pages of a 2002 congressional report on the 9/11 terror attacks that have spent years in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol have been released and posted to the House Intelligence Committee’s web site. Those pages were anticipated to include information that might shed light on ties between the Saudi Arabian government and the terrorist network that perpetrated the attacks.
The newly declassified document [PDF] identifies people the hijackers associated with before they carried out the attacks and identifies individuals who helped the hijackers get apartments, open bank accounts, attend local mosques, and get flight lessons. (Many of the hijackers were Saudi nationals who were neither fluent in English nor familiar with Western living standards.)
The findings of the inquiry were inconclusive when it came to connections between the Saudi government and the hijackers, however. The report noted that “on the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a [redacted] dated July 2, 2002, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists with the Saudi Government.’ On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.”
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 House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff, who has read the 28 pages without the redactions applied to them before they were made public.
Investigations carried out after 2002 found no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials knowingly supported or assisted the 9/11 hijackers, but many lawmakers and relatives of victims have been campaigning for more than 13 years to get the final chapter of the 2002 congressional inquiry released, believing that not all Saudi links to the attackers were thoroughly investigated.