SOURCE: HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS WIRE
The 9/11 Commission interviewed hundreds of witnesses and compiled a report of more than 800 pages. The report’s last chapter of the report, however, has been classified for the last thirteen years.
The White House said that within the next sixty days it will decide whether or not declassify the 28-page chapter.
Those familiar with the contents of the classified document indicate that it would reveal a Saudi Arabia-based support network which helped the hijackers 9/11 in the United States.
Fox News reports that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida), who co-chaired 9/11 Commission, both believe that the 9/11 victims’ families deserve to read the report before president Obama visits the Middle East – and Saudi Arabia — on 21 April.
Graham told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that the report offers details of a network of Saudis who supported the hijackers while they (the hijackers) were on the West Coast and helped them to enroll in flight school.
When asked whether the Saudi network included Saudi government officials, rich Saudis, and Saudi charities, Graham replied: “All of the above.”
The investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks established that the first hijacker arrived in the United States in January 2000, and flew to Los Angeles after attending an al-Qaeda conference in Malaysia. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi nationals.
They 9/11 Commission found that the hijackers arrived in the United States with no experience in the West and little English. Still, they quickly found comfortable housing in San Diego and enrolled in flight schools – and evidence shows that the hijackers managed all this as a result of the close assistance given them by Saudi intelligence agent Omar al-Bayoumi.
Fox News notes that on the day he met the terrorists, Bayoumi was in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, a New Mexico-born radical Islamist imam at a San Diego mosque, who was a senior Al-Qaeda recruiter and motivator.
After the 9/11 attacks, al-Awlaki left the United States for Yemen, where he founded Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in September 2011.
“Those are a lot of coincidences, and that’s a lot of smoke. Is that enough to make you squirm and uncomfortable, and dig harder — and declassify these 28 pages? Absolutely,” former Congressman Tim Roemer (R-Indiana) toldCBS.
Former Representative Porter Goss (R-Florida), told the New Yorker: “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.”
The published 9/11 Commission’s report, released in 2003, contained the sentence: “[…] we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.”
Unofficially, Saudi Arabia said it would welcome the declassification of the twenty-eight pages.
“If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document,” Gillibrand said.
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