CIA Chief John Brennan told a Saudi TV station Sunday that he expects 28 classified pages from a congressional report on the 9/11 attacks to be published soon, and that they will absolve the Saudi government of all wrongdoing.
“I think the 28 pages will be published and I support their publication and everyone will see the evidence that the Saudi government had nothing to do with it," Brennan said in an interview with Arabiya TV.
The missing pages have become more relevant after the U.S. Senate passed a bill last month allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia, which threatened to sell as much as $750 billion in U.S. treasuries were the bill to become law.
Saudi Arabia has always denied having any role in the 2001 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 airplane hijackers involved in the terrorist attack were Saudi citizens. But some officials who have seen the pages, including former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, have said that the pages show that a network of Saudis -- including some in official positions -- had supported al Qaeda terrorists in the time period leading up to the attacks. In April, Graham told NPR that while he couldn’t discuss details, the contents of those pages “point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia.”
“The FBI has turned over to a federal court, through a Freedom of Information Act case, 80,000 pages involving an investigation that took place in Sarasota, Florida, of the relationship between Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 19 hijackers and two of his henchmen, and a prominent Saudi family, which had lived in Sarasota for six years — two weeks before 9/11 left under what were described as urgent conditions to return to Saudi Arabia, creating the inference that they were tipped off and decided that they would be better off someplace than in Sarasota when 9/11 occurred,” Graham told NPR.
However, Brennan told Al-Arabiya that the missing section was just a “preliminary review,” and further investigations ultimately cleared the Saudi government.
“It was found later, according to the results of the report, that there was no link between the Saudi government as a state or as an institution or even senior Saudi officials to the September 11 attacks,” he said.