As political pressure continues to mount, the Obama administration has signaled its intent to release at least parts of the still classified 28 pages of the 9/11 report that many believe will show Saudi Arabian involvement in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
In an appearance on 60 Minutes, former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida) and chair of the Congressional committee that released the report, told host Steve Kroft the 28 pages show Saudi Arabia was “substantially” involved in the attacks on 9/11.
When asked by Kroft if the support came from the Saudi government, wealthy citizens or charities, Graham replied, “all of the above.”
“I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education, could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States,” Graham continued.
Porter Goss, a co-chair of the Congressional inquiry along with Senator Graham who later became CIA director under President George W. Bush, recalled asking then-FBI Director Robert Mueller why the 28 pages were classified. He remembers being told, for all intents and purposes, “Because we said so.”
Tim Roemer, a former Democratic Representative from Indiana (3rd District) and member of both the Congressional inquiry and the 9/11 Commission, has referred to the secret 28 pages as a “preliminary police report”.
“There were clues. There were allegations. There were witness reports. There was evidence about the hijackers, about people they met with — all kinds of different things that the 9/11 Commission was then tasked with reviewing and investigating,” Roemer told NBC.
Roemer cities a link to an imam at a San Diego mosque, Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, as well as links to Omar al Bayoumi, who was strongly suspected of being a Saudi spy and was alleged to have been helpful to the hijackers.
He also cites concerns about Fahad al Thumairy, an official at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, who assisted two of the hijackers in finding housing and transportation after they arrived in Southern California (he was later denied entry into the United States in May 2003 after the State Department alleged that he might be involved in terrorist activity).
“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,” he said.
In an editorial, The New York Daily News cites the “conspiracy theories” surrounding why three planeloads of Saudi nationals were evacuated from the U.S. in the days after the 9/11 despite a total flight ban as one of many reasons why the 28 pages should be released.
Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission respectively, wrote a joint op-ed in The New York Times back in 2008 accusing the CIA of stonewalling the commission’s investigation.