News ID: 155099
Published: 0245 GMT July 16, 2016

US releases secret report on alleged Saudi 9/11 ties

US releases secret report on alleged Saudi 9/11 ties

A long-classified US report released Friday found that some of the 9/11 hijackers were in contact with and received support from individuals likely connected to the Saudi government, CNN wrote.

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

"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," the document said.

The pages also said that the inquiry obtained information "indicating that Saudi government officials in the United States may have other ties to Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups," but the commission that authored the document acknowledged that much of the info "remains speculative and yet to be independently verified".

Under pressure from the victims' families and lawmakers, President Barack Obama said in April his administration would declassify the 28 pages.

The release of the pages was welcomed by New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who has co-sponsored a bill that opens the door for families of 9/11 victims to sue foreign states and financial partners of terrorism.

"Preliminary readings show that there may well have been Saudi involvement in the terror of 9/11 both in the Saudi government and within the Saudi country, within Saudi Arabia," he told reporters in New York.

Also welcoming the report's release was former Senate intelligence chairman Bob Graham, who has long called for the documents to be made public.

"The information in the 28 pages reinforces the belief that the 19 hijackers – most of whom spoke little English, had limited education and had never before visited the United States – did not act alone in perpetrating the sophisticated 9/11 plot," Graham said in a statement. "It suggests a strong linkage between those terrorists and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi charities, and other Saudi stakeholders."

Bandar’s associates

The newly released documents shoed multiple links to associates of Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar, the former longtime ambassador to the United States.

They suggested possible conduits of money from the Saudi royal family to Saudis living in the United States and two of the hijackers in San Diego, California.

Osama Bassnan, who the documents identified as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, received money from Bandar.

Bassnan and Omar al-Bayoumi, another Saudi living in San Diego, "provided substantial assistance" to two of the hijackers — Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — the documents said.

Fifteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

The revelations are likely to prompt a fresh round of handwringing about Washington's close ties with Riyadh and Saudi Arabia's role in fostering violent extremism.



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