Saudi Arabia uncooperative in Bin Laden probe: 9/11 report
Story Code : 553510
On Friday, the US Congress released 28 pages of a congressional report about the attacks that revealed the extent of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The documents, kept secret until now, indicate that the Riyadh regime provided investigators with false details but escaped punishment because of its status as a staunch ally of Washington.
“Prior to September 11th, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American ‘ally,’ ” reads the report.
“There is a May 1996 memo from the [CIA’s] Counterterrorist Center [redacted] stating that the Saudis had stopped providing background information or other assistance on bin Laden because bin Laden had too much information about official Saudi dealings with Islamic extremists in the 1980s for Riyadh to deliver him into US hands,” the papers added.
The report also revealed that the al-Qaeda chief’s half brother Abdullah bin Laden worked as “an administrative officer” for the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, DC.
However, Riyadh’s failure to provide Washington with the necessary details further reduced chances to prevent the attacks, according to the documents.
“When a high-level [redacted] officer was asked how the September 11 attacks might have been prevented, he cited greater Saudi cooperation, pointing to an example from the summer of 2001, when the US requested Saudi assistance, with no success,” the report states.
Supporting the hijackers and selectively helping Washington’s investigations were some of the other charges that the report brought against the kingdom.
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government,” the report said.
Of the 19 hijackers that reportedly carried out the attacks, at least 15 were from Saudi Arabia. Today it is also proven that some of the hijackers had received financial support from Saudi officials.
“FBI documents... indicate that several Saudi naval officers were in contact with the September 11 hijackers,” the report notes.
Despite the report’s revelations, the White House claimed the 28 pages clear Saudi Arabia’s ties to the attacks as they offer no conclusive evidence.