Washington (AFP) – Saudi Arabia is confident nothing in a secret 28-page section of a US congressional report on the September 11 attacks implicates its leaders.
But some officials worry its eventual publication — 15 years after the assault on New York and Washington — will stir suspicion at a time of tense ties.
In December 2002, a year after the attacks, the House and Senate committees on intelligence published a report into the US investigation into them.
But the then president, George W. Bush, ordered that 28 pages of the report be classified to protect the methods and identities of US intelligence sources.
Last month, former Senator Bob Graham said the pages should be made public and alleged Saudi officials had provided assistance to the 9/11 hijackers.
Graham, who was the Senate intelligence committee chairman, said the White House had told him they will decide by June whether to declassify the pages.
The issue of alleged — and fiercely denied — Saudi involvement in the attacks has been brought up again by attempts to lodge a law suit against the kingdom.
Relatives of some of the American victims of the hijackers are lobbying Congress to pass a law lifting Saudi Arabia’s sovereign immunity from liability.
The 28 pages are thought to include a claim that Princess Haifa, the wife of then Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar, sent money to the hijackers.
Princess Haifa sent thousands of dollars to Osama Basnan, a Saudi living in San Diego who befriended 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.
Another likely allegation in the missing pages concerns Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi civil aviation official who had been studying in California.
While Saudi Arabia has never been implicated in the 9/11 attacks, 15 of the 19 hijackers were of Saudi descent. Moreover, there has long been suspicion about ties between the royal family of Saudi Arabia to al Qaeda, speculation that has only intensified as 28 pages of a congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks remains classified.
As pressure grows on Congress to let 9/11 victims’ families pursue their claims against Saudi Arabia in federal court, Saudi officials are quickly pushing back.
In a warning to members of Congress, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned lawmakers last month in Washington that his kingdom would sell $750 billion in U.S. assets.
Appearing on the Joe Piscopo Show, a New York radio program, Trump evinced no concern about Saudi Arabia’s threat to sell off U.S. assets.
“Let ’em sell ’em,” Trump said. “No big deal.”
Trump added: “Hey, look, we protect Saudi Arabia. We protect them for peanuts. If we weren’t protecting them, they wouldn’t be there for a week.”
We never have really gotten to the bottom of 9/11. Regardless of whatever the problem, the answer always seems to come down to “follow the money”. If the money leads to Saudi Arabia and contacts in Saudi Arabia – that is certainly a strong implication of wrongdoing if you ask me. 15 of the 19 hijackers had Saudi Arabia ties! Come on people, doesn’t that say SOMETHING!? We should never have been exonerated Saudi Arabia! This is not the first time Saudi Arabia has bankrolled terrorism and it certainly won’t be the last. Thanks to Obama, America has joined the ranks of Saudi Arabia in funding terrorism as well with especially with the Iran Nuclear Deal. This horror will continue, until we can elect politicians with principles.
Fade to music by Queen…
“You got mud on your face,
Somebody better put you back into your place…
We will, we will rock you. Singin’ We will, we will rock you.”
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