Declassified 28 pages: No ‘smoking gun’ tying Saudi to 9/11 attacks

Sunday 17/07/2016
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir

LONDON - The US government has released the missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Commis­sion Report. The docu­ments show no evidence of Saudi complicity in the attacks that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in New York, Penn­sylvania and at the Pentagon in the Washington area, the biggest ter­rorist attack in US history.

“The conclusion of the 9/11 Com­mission is — or was, as they wrote — they found ‘no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individual­ly funded al-Qaeda’,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said July 16th upon the documents’ release.

“The other thing that I would point you to is, in 2014, the FBI conducted some work as a part of the 9/11 Review Commission and they concluded that there was no new evidence that would change the 9/11 Commission’s findings re­garding responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al- Jubeir said questions about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the ter­rorist attacks would be put to rest. “That matter is now finished,” Jubeir said. “The surprise in the 28 pages is that there is no surprise.”

He went on to say that since Sep­tember 11th, 2001, Saudi officials had undertaken a series of major steps in confronting terrorism.

“We have put in place financial control mechanisms that are un­precedented for any other country,” Jubeir said. “We have shut down institutions that use fundraising in order to support extremist causes and terrorism. We have put in place laws to criminalise terror financing. We have detained a large number of people. We have prosecuted a large number of people. We have jailed a large number of people. We have put in place better systems in terms of looking at cash couriers.

“Saudi Arabia is in the forefront of countries when it comes to fight­ing terrorism.”

Chairman of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, and Vice- Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, urged the public to read the results of follow-up investiga­tions by the CIA and the FBI as it debunks many conspiracy theories and allegations.

Heads of the commission and of the intelligence committees in Con­gress stood by the commission’s conclusion of no funding for al- Qaeda from the Saudi government or senior officials; however, plans by some families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for liabil­ity seem undeterred even after the 28 pages’ release.

Legislation — called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which would limit sovereign im­munity of countries — has been introduced in the US Congress. It would allow victims and surviving relatives to sue Saudi Arabia regard­ing alleged complicity in the 9/11 at­tacks.

The Saudi government warned that, if the legislation was enacted, it would sell its US investments. Jubeir accused the US Congress of “stripping the principle of sover­eign immunity, which would turn the world for international law into the law of the jungle”. The White House has pledged to veto the measure.

“The president of the United States continues to harbour serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world,” Earnest said in May after the US Senate passed the bill.