Old questions about Saudi Arabia’s link to Sept. 11 attack resurface in U.S.

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world trade center attack 911For years, some current and former American officials have been urging President Barack Obama to release secret files they say document links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the Sept. 11 attacks.

Other officials, including the executive director of the Sept. 11 commission, have said the classified documents do not prove that the Saudi government knew about or financed the 2001 terrorist attacks, and that making the material public would serve no purpose.

Now, unsubstantiated court testimony by Zacharias Moussaoui, a former al-Qaida member serving life in federal prison, has renewed the push by those who want a closer look into whether there was official Saudi involvement with al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 hijackers. They say it should start with the release of 28 pages relating to Saudi Arabia from a joint congressional inquiry into the attacks.

“We owe the families a full accounting,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, a Democrat who has read the classified pages written in 2002. They were left out of the public version of the report on the orders of President George W. Bush, who said they could divulge intelligence sources and methods. Officials on both sides of the debate acknowledge that protecting the delicate U.S.-Saudi relationship also played a role.

Lynch and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., have sponsored a resolution that calls for declassifying the records. The White House has asked intelligence agencies to review the pages with an eye toward potential declassification, spokesman Ned Price said, but there is no timetable.

The controversy comes at a consequential moment in the relationship between the U.S. and the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has a new king — pro-American like the late monarch — and the two wary allies are working closely to confront the Islamic State, the turmoil in Yemen and Iran’s nuclear aspirations. At the same time, U.S. officials say they continue to privately admonish Saudi Arabia over human rights abuses in the kingdom, such as the recent flogging of a blogger, and its support of the spread of religious extremism abroad.

Moussaoui, who claimed during his terror conspiracy court case that he had planned to fly a plane into the White House on Sept. 11, was deposed by lawyers in a civil suit by some Sept. 11 families who are seeking damages from the Saudi government and other defendants, including charities and banks. Saudi Arabia vigorously disputes the allegations.

Moussaoui testified at his trial that key members of the Saudi royal family continued to fund al-Qaida in the late 1990s, even after the organization had declared war on the House of Saud. He also described plotting with an employee of the Saudi Embassy in Washington to shoot down Air Force One.

Lynch said the classified 28 pages, which are drawn from intelligence collection and FBI investigations, “are consistent” with Moussaoui’s testimony.

“There are specifics, there are transactions, there are names,” Lynch said.

Others who have read the document say it’s far from definitive.

Two senior congressional aides described the case as weak. One noted that just because Saudi citizens helped the mostly Saudi hijackers in the U.S. does not mean they knew about the operation. Another said that the pages contain inaccuracies that could compromise an important diplomatic relationship.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to describe material that remains classified.

“If you think it’s thin, well then, why not release it?” Lynch said.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he supports the release because he believes the pages would “demystify” the notion of a Saudi conspiracy.

“The issues raised in those pages were investigated by the 9/11 commission and found to be unsubstantiated,” he said.

That commission, which built on the work of the joint congressional inquiry with access to FBI files and secret intelligence, did not exonerate Saudi Arabia. But it did conclude in its 2004 report that there was no evidence that the Saudi government funded al-Qaida during the planning of the attacks.

“It does not appear that any government other than the Taliban financially supported al-Qaida before 9/11, although some governments may have contained al-Qaida sympathizers who turned a blind eye to al-Qaida’s fundraising activities,” the report said. “Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al-Qaida funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.”

Two ardent dissenters from that conclusion have been former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, a leader of the congressional inquiry and longtime chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John Lehman, a Sept. 11 commission member and former Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan.

Graham has said he sees “a direct line between some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.” He believes that a Saudi government agent living in the United States, Omar al-Bayoumi, provided assistance to two Sept. 11 hijackers in San Diego at the behest of elements of the Saudi government.

The New York lawsuit argues that Saudi rulers were playing a double game in the years before the attacks, expelling Osama bin Laden and declaring opposition to al-Qaida, while secretly funding it to assuage the kingdom’s religious conservatives.

Moussaoui, in testimony from a supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, told plaintiff lawyers it was “an absolute lie” that Saudi Arabia severed its ties with bin Laden and al-Qaida in 1994.

“This is a complete misleading … assumption of people who are not familiar with the way the Saudi government is established” because the government has “two heads of the snake,” he said, according to a transcript.

The House of Saud, he said, “cannot keep power in Saudi Arabia without having the agreement” of the extremist Wahhabi religious establishment, he said.

“Look, see, we are not against Islam or the jihad, we finance bin Laden.”

ABC/Associated Press

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93 responses to “Old questions about Saudi Arabia’s link to Sept. 11 attack resurface in U.S.”

  1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
    TheUSequalsTheIS

    how can ppl still “question” this when even 84% of the americans believe 9/11 was an inside job?
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/October2006/141006poll.htm
    the american adminstration lied about saddam and his “wmd” and as saying goes: once a liar always a liar!

    1. nagy_michael2 Avatar
      nagy_michael2

      I was and still against the war in Iraq no doubt Dick cheney and some narrow minded leadership in Washington convinced Bush to attack Saddam. But there are no doubt Saddam had WMD that ended up in Syria, Iran and possibly libya. speaking of liars though they flooded Lebanon from Tehran, the regime of Damascus all over the South and their capital Dahia. you have mastered the lies and deceit and keep blaming israel and the US for every misery you had. And don’t forget Saddam’s Mig fighters that ended up in Tehran. what about Saddam attacking Kuwait? or was that an american lie as well. No one can deny that there were people in american administrations had their agenda and to me Iraq was useless war. I wanted Saddam to stay in Power to keep Iran off balance. but again some leadership and scumbags wanted oil and get even with Saddam in order to appease israel. but again you cannot deny Saddam atrocities against his people and oppressing Shiites and kurds freedom.

      1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
        TheUSequalsTheIS

        ghetto!

      2. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        nagy, don’t misunderstand me, i only want to interject history.
        SA-Koweit were afraid of Khomeini at that time, they paid Saddam to invade Iran, many Iraqi (and Iranians) died in that war, the US (Rumsfeld in person) gave him gas to use on Iran..Koweit refused to pay after it was done, he threatened to invaded.. the US saw his troops massed on Koweity borders and said nothing, it was a trap from Bush father, the US ousted the Iraqis, then bombarded the troupes when they retrieved en route to Iraq, there were no reason it was a pure massacre, Bush father didn’t want to continue till the Capital Baghdad, Israel was mad and Bush-Cheney government was formed.. we know the rest, false pretexts to invade

    2. 9 11 is inside job.for sure.When America Zionist deserve to invade and destroy a country,Americans Zionist will crush any building in America and accuse who are they want to destroy.America now is the worse dacoit of the world.

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    “cannot keep power in Saudi Arabia without having the agreement” …. Of Religionists.
    So then the question is, WHICH guys do you want in ‘power’ in SA, controlling it ALL?

  3. cook2half Avatar

    That picture makes me too sad. Reminds us all how Palestinian terror has no limits.

  4. nagy_michael2 Avatar
    nagy_michael2

    well all i can saw many countries and individuals used Al Qaeda to fight other groups and also to befriend to keep them away from them. Saudis, The US, Syria, Iran and Qatar and others were all involved. Unfortunately it was not Saddam who was eliminated and that opened the road for Al Qaeda. I never liked Saddam because he was a ruthless leader but judging from what came afterward we would been better off with him fighting those same Extremists. No Doubt Dicke Cheney and his vengful friends had other agendas but at the same time it ruined Iraq instead of making it a freer country. While Syria and Iran even helped in the destruction of Iraq by allowing passage to these extremists and provided safe havens for them. They thought they can use them as a bargaining chips against the US and the West and other arab countries. not that they thought the same group came back to bite them. It’s vicious world out for americans to be at the mercy of Dick Cheney and the Henry kissingers and the assads, saddams, the mullahs, the kingkongs of North Korea and the putins of Russia. the little ones are the hezbollah’s who grow into a monster organizations as well as isis. too bad we have those people still operating as if they know what’s best for us. so having said that we come here and fight for them and protect their reputations as if these assholes ever done anything for us. on top of it they want to tell us we are protecting you from the other group. how come hezbollah and nassrallah never condemned much when Al Qaeda were in Iraq and and entered lebanon on a smaller scale then and now growing everywhere? how come Nassrallah didn’t want to fight Fatah AL Islam when they were fighting the Army? I thought then Nassrallah created the troika Resistance+Army+people. shame on you then and shame on you now. you and Assad wished Al Qaeda and extremists to join FSA so you can paint them in different colors. And I would not be surprised that ISIS was invited to the war in Syria in order to just show proof that the war in SYRIA was all created by extremists and terrorists. but now they overwhelming them and could not believe the monster they created and brought upon themselves. they accuse on top of it March 14th and Geagea and hariri of supporting these groups. all to add more hurt and pain on top of the pains and sufferings lebanon has endured at their hands for decades. when we ever learn and rise against these collaborators of syria, iran and isis. i guess we never will judging from educated people here who takes sides and don’t see they are supporting these traitors. so what do i expect from the poor and uneducated then? Too bad for Lebanon and feel bad for lebanon for having such hypocrites where born there and still doing the same thing for 100 years. all they do is put makeup on and change the colors of their hairs as to look different. when the night the makes up comes off and your ugliness becomes clearer. I do not expect you all to understand what i am saying judging from the past blogs and posts. but you are what you are and you will never want to change. therefore Lebanon will always be like this as long as the educated ones are no different from the uneducated..

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Nagy … you will be dumped on for sounding like Mekenseh. 😉

      1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
        TheUSequalsTheIS

        nagy’s label is ghetto, while mekenseh’s is syndrome

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Which only proves that people CAN attain some level of logical common sense, no matter which strata of any particular society they were unfortunately born INTO.

          1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
            TheUSequalsTheIS

            except those who disagree with u, right?

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Ewww … wow … Mr Snit … I think I even gave you an ‘uppie’ … once. 😉

      2. MekensehParty Avatar
        MekensehParty

        but he’ll have a mekenseh to flush the sht away 😉

  5. Reasonableman Avatar
    Reasonableman

    Sisi makes fun of Gulf countries/leaders. 

    Latest leak from “Mikamleen” channel which is a channel which operates outside of Egypt that opposes the currently military ruling.

    Twitter and social media are lighting up with the related hashtag, currently info is only provided in Arabic – The official video in Arabic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGOcZ3PI-zg

    In summary – Sisi has a meeting with a senior member of the military and Al-Sisi’s office head Abbas Kamel back then – discussing dealing with the Gulf countries as “cash cows”, also it is heard that Al Sisi specified the amount of money being demanded (10bn each) from Kuwait, Saudi, UAE and how it is to reach the Egyptian Army’s bank accounts.

    It was also heard by Abbas Kamel openly swearing at the King of Qatar….

    Looking forward to the diplomatic row following that..

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Make popcorn … ;-)))
      Did they ‘wire’ the guy’s office?? :-))))

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Anything which has not been fully demonstrated to be true – to ‘the people’ – after 14 years of Really Maximum ‘investigation’, becomes a theory unproven.

      1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
        TheUSequalsTheIS

        i know the whole official explanation is a theory unproven and it happens that 80% of the americans agree

  6. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar
    TheUSequalsTheIS

    this is the funniest clip: Kite – Hit – Steel – Plane – Must
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL8cJWyOxWQ

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