28 pages from 9/11 report to be released


Twenty-eight pages from a congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 could be made public as soon as Friday, according to multiple sources.

{mosads}The documents, long the subject of fierce speculation, are believed by some to contain details linking the government of Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Congress is expected to get a redacted version of the pages as soon as Thursday, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told The Hill, with a public release possible on Friday.

Support for the release has been nearly universal. Family members and survivors of the attack have pleaded with President Obama to release the pages — and Saudi leaders have said they should be released to quash speculation.

“While the 9/11 families and survivors welcome this first step, they wish to reiterate that true transparency requires the release of a far greater body of evidence of possible Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks and rise of al Qaeda, and prompt passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA),” lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims and survivors said in a Thursday statement. 

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens, which some argue is an indication of the kingdom’s support of extremists. There has never been any conclusive proof tying senior levels of the Saudi government to al Qaeda ahead of 9/11, but scrutiny around a possible connection has lingered for years.

“I think the speculation about it is more damaging than the actual release and it’s obviously an issue of such seminal importance to the country — I think we can trust the public to assess it for what it’s worth,” Schiff said.

A decision has not yet been made as to who will make the formal release, Schiff said. He noted that the report was originally a joint effort by the Senate and House Intelligence committees and, as such, should be released by them.

“I think the administration probably concurs that it’s a congressional work product, it ought to be released by Congress,” he said, but, “ultimately the speaker/leader will make the decision on whether they release it or the committees do.”

But how much information will be redacted from the long-secret pages remains to be seen. 

The document, according to Schiff, reads like a police report: “A set of allegations that warrant investigation,” not “a set of conclusions.”

CIA Director John Brennan and others have pushed back against the efforts to declassify the pages, saying they are filled with initial impressions that have been disproven.  

“Hopefully a minimal amount [is] redacted, because the more your redact, the more questions you raise,” Schiff said.


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