The co-chair of a Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 terror attacks charged that the US government continues to turn a blind eye to evidence that the government of Saudi Arabia may have aided the terrorists.
The July release of 28 pages — still substantially redacted — of previously classified material from the Joint Inquiry report of 2002 does not put the matter to rest, said former Senator Bob Graham, (D-FL) at the National Press Club on Thursday. On the contrary, he said, those pages raise significant new questions.
Harassed at one point by the FBI, his investigation blocked by the Department of Justice and the State Department, Graham urged the media to support his struggle. Allegations from the 28 pages include:
• Suspicions that two Saudi nationals in California, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassnan, were providing financial and logistical support to two Los Angeles-based hijackers: Nawak Alhamzi and Khalid al-Midhar.
• Evidence that a Saudi consular official who also was an imam of a Los Angeles mosque may also have assisted the California hijackers.
• Possible links between then-Saudi ambassador to the US Prince Bandar bin Sultan and 9/11 terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah. The terrorist’s phone book contained an unlisted number for the company that managed Prince Bandar’s Colorado residence.
• A list of mosques and Saudi charities that investigators suspected of maintaining financial support for international terrorism.
• Complaints by federal agents that Saudi officials were not cooperating with their investigation, and not making suspects available for questioning.
Of the 19 hijackers, 15 were Saudi citizens. Still, US officials, the Saudi government, and the chairs of a separate commission that looked into the attacks all have insisted allegations about Saudi involvement have been pursued, and no evidence has been found to support them.
Graham does not agree with their conclusion. He wants the government to publicly disclose the information its investigators developed in more than a decade since the two major reports of the Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission were published.
Graham believes that releasing the 28 pages should remove “the cork from the bottle” of all the investigative information the government has amassed over the last 15 years, ultimately delivering it to the American public.