By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly declassified pages from a congressional report into 9/11 released Friday have reignited speculation that some of the hijackers had links to Saudis, including government officials — allegations that were never substantiated by later U.S. investigations into the terrorist attacks.
Congress released the last chapter of the congressional inquiry that has been kept under wraps for more than 13 years, stored in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. Lawmakers and relatives of victims of the attacks, who believe that Saudi links to the attackers were not thoroughly investigated, campaigned for years to get the pages released.
The lightly redacted document names individuals who helped the hijackers get apartments, open bank accounts and connect with local mosques. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and several were not fluent in English and had little experience living in the West.
Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, the co-chairman of the congressional inquiry, who pushed hard for the last chapter of the inquiry’s report to be released, believes the hijackers had an extensive Saudi support system while they were in the United States.
Saudi Arabia itself has urged the release of the chapter since 2002 so the kingdom could respond to any allegations.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubier told reporters Friday that his government welcomed the release of the 28 pages and said the documents should finally put to rest questions about Saudi Arabia’s suspected role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
“The surprise in the 28 pages is that there is no surprise,” al-Jubier said.
The 9/11 Families and Victims welcomed the release, and said it confirmed what they’ve long known.
“Each of the claims the 9/11 families and victims …