The Saudi Question

The House Intelligence Committee released 28 newly declassified pages of the 9/11 Commission report on Friday. The redacted document, a part of the December 2002 report, outlines possible ties between the Saudi Arabian government and some of the Sept. 11 hijackers. The report names two men who FBI sources said might have been Saudi intelligence officers and assisted the hijackers while they were in the United States. Other possible links between the hijackers and Saudi government members were also described. But the report notes the FBI and CIA had “only a limited understanding of the Saudi Government’s ties to the terrorist elements” and could not “identify definitively the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or with the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature.” Citing the 9/11 Commission findings, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday the information in the report “does not change the assessment of the US government that there’s no evidence that the Saudi government, as an institution or senior Saudi officials, individually funded al Qaeda.” He said the FBI concluded in 2014 that there was no evidence that would change the findings “regarding responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.” (Read Air Force Magazine’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the first-hand accounts of 10 airmen who found themselves caught up in the day’s horrific events.)