COVID-19 Special Coverage
Congress releases details of Saudi Arabia’s connection to 9/11 in ’28-pages’
Congress releases details of Saudi Arabia’s connection to 9/11 in ’28-pages’

[JURIST] The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released declassified “28-pages” [report, PDF], detailing connections between Saudi Arabia and 9/11 hijackers. Whether “28-pages” should be released was a hotly debated matter, spanning years as victims’ families and lawmakers had pressed for the report to be released. Some calling for the release of the report believed that the US had been attempting to cover up Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks. While the document acknowledges that “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,” other sources, including the 9/11 Commission report, have held that the Saudi government was in no way involved in the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers. Despite containing only leads to possible Saudi ties to the 9/11 hijackers, which were investigated by government officials, former Senator Bob Graham was happy with the release in that it would lead to further questioning of the Saudi government’s potential involvement. He also added that “I think of this almost as the 28 pages are sort of the cork in the wine bottle. And once it’s out, hopefully the rest of the wine itself will start to pour out.”

In May the Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] allowing 9/11 victims’ families to sue Saudi Arabia. The bill must now pass the House and be signed by President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the bill. In 2012 a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a motion [JURIST report] to reinstate Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a civil compensation lawsuit by victims against the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The claim against Saudi Arabia was dismissed in 2008 by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit due to insufficient evidence that the Kingdom’s princes has actual knowledge that their money was going to be used in the attacks. In 2005 Judge Richard Casey dismissed [PDF text; JURIST report] Saudi Arabia, its defense minister and its ambassador to the UK as defendants in litigation stemming from the terrorist attacks, ruling that all had sovereign immunity [Cornell LII backgrounder].