Time: 10:20 p.m. CEST
The U.S. on Friday released 28 declassified pages from a congressional report, which addresses the issue of possible involvement of Saudis “who were in contact with the hijackers after they arrived in the U.S. knew what they were planning.”
The released document contains light redactions, gives names of the people the hijackers contacted before the 9/11 attacks. In those attacks, about 3,000 people died in New York City, Washington D.C. and on a place that crashed in Pennsylvania.
The release of the document came 13 years after the lawmakers and relatives of the victims pushed for the declassification. Former President George W. Bush classified the report, but after the pressure of the families, President Barack Obama ordered declassification.
The AP says, the director of the National Intelligence, James Clapper made the declassification review and passed the document to the Congress.
The Associated Press writes Saudi Arabia wanted the release of the chapter since 2002 to respond to the allegations. “Since 2002, the 9/11 Commission, and several government agencies, including the CIA and the FBI have investigated the contents of the ’28 Pages.’ And have confirmed that neither the Saudi government, nor senior Saudi officials, nor any person acting on behalf of the Saudi government provided any support or encouragement for these attacks,” Abdullah Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, said in a statement Friday, as reported by the AP.
The document points out the names of the individuals who assisted to the hijackers to get apartments, open bank accounts, visited local mosques and get flight lessons. The AP Says, fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
The full report contains 567-page report, released in July 2004. The document said, it found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded” al-Qaida. “This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al-Qaida.”