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