View Full Version : Lawmakers Want Secret Pages From 9/11 Probe Declassified

12-03-2013, 08:27 PM
Lawmakers want secret pages from 9/11 probe declassified


By Bryan Bender
December 03, 2013

WASHINGTON _ US Representative Stephen F. Lynch on Monday introduced a resolution urging President Obama to make public 28 pages from a congressional probe of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that remain secret.

Lynch said he believes will shed new light on the worst terrorist assault in US history. The South Boston Democrat, along with Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, recently reviewed the findings, which were almost entirely blacked out when the panel issued its final report in December 2002.

“These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” the South Boston Democrat said in a statement Tuesday.

The withheld pages have long been a source of controversy and have fueled conspiracy theories that the US government covered up certain aspects of the plot to fly hijacked civilian airliners bound from Boston, Washington, and New York into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 people.

The final report of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- called the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001 -- did give some indication of what was contained.

The introduction stated the investigation uncovered “information suggesting specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”

Many experts have suggested that those sources of support for the Al Qaeda terrorists, most of who were from Saudi Arabia, could have come from their home governments. But all the details were withheld on national security grounds.

Eleanor Hill, who served as the staff director of the inquiry and is now a Washington-based attorney, recalled Tuesday that the findings, gleaned through a combination of interviews at the time with FBI and CIA officials and a review of agency files, were alarming.

“It was disturbing,” she said. “Even back then I personally felt they could have released more of it. Somebody needs to look at it again.”

The Lynch-Jones resolution is non-binding but the lawmakers hope their effort will increase public pressure on the White House to be more transparent about what US intelligence agencies learned in the aftermath of the attacks.

"There are things in the pages that trouble me deeply," said Jones, who has also reviewed the classified information, said in a telephone interview.

“But we both think this is critical to the integrity of this country. How can you expect the people to trust their government if there are 28 pages you don’t have a right to see?”

“Twelve years after the horrific September 11 attacks, unanswered questions still remain,” said Lynch, a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who also co-chairs co-chair a House Task Force on Terrorism and Proliferation Financing. “The families of the victims and the American people deserve better; they deserve answers, they deserve a full accounting, and that has not happened yet.”

03-08-2014, 06:41 PM
Victims’ families: Release secret ‘Saudi’ 9/11 report


By Paul Sperry
March 8, 2014 | 3:32pm

Two congressmen lawmakers concerned about a government censoring of Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the 9/11 attacks will hold a press conference this week with families of the victims to step up pressure on the White House to declassify the information.

Three months ago, Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced a resolution urging President Obama to follow through on his campaign promise to 9/11 families to release the censored section of a 2002 congressional report on the attacks.

Their Dec. 2 bill, which has attracted five co-sponsors, was referred to the House Intelligence Committee, where it languishes. Panel chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) decides whether it will move on to a vote.

Jones says they hope to attract at least 10 more co-sponsors to compel the committee to take up the measure. To that end, they’ve enlisted the help of the organization 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism. Some of its members will speak at Wednesday’s event on Capitol Hill. They include Sharon Premoli, who was pulled from the World Trade Center rubble.

Jones, who has not heard from the White House, said, “We realize this is going to be an ongoing effort over the next few months to build the number of members who join the resolution” along with co-sponsors that include Michael Grimm (R-NY).

“They’ve all read the [censored] 28 pages and they have joined and agree with the families that they should be made public,” he added. “The families have a right to the 28 pages and so do the American people.”

President Bush mysteriously classified part of the “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

The entire section dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” was pulled from the 800-page report Congress released to the public. An estimated 7,200 words summarizing CIA and FBI documents is missing.

Some information already has leaked and it points back to Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the hijackers. Riyadh denies any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. Intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an attack by a foreign state presumed to be an ally.

“If these pages are declassified,” Jones said, “it would be an important revelation to the American people.”

Surprisingly, few members of Congress have read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history. Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the intelligence panel to give them access to the material.

“You have to write a letter to chairman Rogers and the ranking member and then they talk and agree to let you go down to the classified room,” Jones explained.

“There’s a guard there and you go to the guard and he sees who you are, looks at your voting card, and then they let you in; and then there’s actually a staffer who knew you were coming down that sits in there and watches you read it, because you cannot make any notes and you can’t take anything out.”

He says 9/11 families have also been urging their senators to read the full report and “beat the drum” for Obama to make it public.

03-23-2014, 02:18 PM
Threat of 9/11 US terror network still looms


By Paul Sperry
March 23, 2014 | 4:27am

A multicity support network inside America funded by Saudi Arabian officials to aid the 9/11 hijackers was never “taken down” after the attacks, and until a secret report detailing the network is made public, America will remain “vulnerable” to another attack, the former US senator who headed the joint congressional inquiry into 9/11 warns.

More than a decade ago, President George W. Bush mysteriously classified a 28-page section of the “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” The documents remain secret under President Obama despite his promise to 9/11 families to release them.

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla), who co-chaired the joint inquiry, says releasing the 28-page chapter — which was “censored from word one to the last word” over the objection of he and Republican co-chair Sen. Richard Shelby — would ¬expose shocking details on the terrorism plot that killed nearly 3,000 people. Allegedly, they identify Saudi officials, agents and other contact men for the hijackers.

Saudi support cells were set up in a number of US cities, coast to coast — including Paterson, NJ, Delray Beach, Fla., Sarasota, Fla., Falls Church, Va., Alexandria, Va., Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix — but were never properly investigated, Graham says.

As a result, he fears the terror support network was never abandoned and remains intact today, ready to be used for an encore attack.

“There’s no evidence the network prior to 9/11 has been taken down,” Graham said. “And in terms of our national security, we would be foolish to assume it has been taken down and end up more vulnerable.

“That’s another reason why releasing these 28 pages is so important: If this was in existence in 2000 and 2001, what is it in 2014?”

Al Qaeda last week called on terrorists secreted inside America to carry out car-bomb attacks in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Alexandria, Va., and other cities.

The Saudi-funded mosques where the hijackers received help obtaining housing, IDs and other aid remain open for business, including the so-called “9/11 mosque” in Falls Church. Investigators say the Saudi Embassy-financed Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center continues to be a breeding ground for terrorists, yet the government never shut it down.

Far from it, the Virginia legislature recently passed a controversial resolution “commending” the mosque — which was run by Saudi-sponsored al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who ministered to some of the Pentagon-cell hijackers — “as an expression of the [state] General Assembly’s admiration” for the center.

A resolution of another kind is wending its way through Congress. Sponsored by Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and five other lawmakers, it calls on Obama to declassify the Saudi portion of the 2002 report.

Jones, Lynch and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) recently held a press conference with 9/11 families to step up pressure on the White House to release the secret Saudi section.

“There is this other layer to 9/11 that really hasn’t been exposed,” said Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. “All or most of [the funding] was coming from Saudi Arabia, and that needs to come out. That truth needs to be told. It should scare the hell out of all Americans that they were living here, amongst us for two years, doing this before they actually carried out 9/11.”

Some information already has leaked from the classified section, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the hijackers. Riyadh denies any role in 9/11.

Graham says the White House was uncooperative with the bipartisan 9/11 inquiry and withheld key information about Saudi officials. The administration also denied the inquiry access to key witnesses.

Graham said the lack of cooperation, along with the subsequent censoring of the findings of congressional investigators, “was transparently designed to give them [Saudi officials] cover.”

FBI agents and detectives with the Fairfax County Police Department assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington complained of political interference. They say they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy.

“All of the intelligence agencies failed to follow up on top Saudis. They all failed,” Graham noted.

“Those weren’t three or four independent decisions to act incompetently. They were directed to act incompetently.

“They were operating under ¬orders from the White House.”

03-30-2014, 12:25 PM
Struggling to detail alleged Saudi role in 9/11 attacks

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140330_Struggling_to_detail_alleged_Saudi_role_i n_9_11_attacks.html

Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 1:09 AM

It was four days after a U.S. Navy SEAL team had killed Osama bin Laden, and many of the events of that afternoon are a blur.

But Bill Doyle's recollection of his chat with President Obama remains crystal clear.

To mark bin Laden's demise, Obama had laid a wreath at the former site of the World Trade Center on May 5, 2011, and met later in the day with families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at a reception near ground zero.

The president stopped at Doyle's table midway through the event, and Doyle asked when the government would make public portions of a congressional investigation that weighed evidence that Saudi Arabia provided support to the 9/11 hijackers.

"He said, 'Bill, I will get them released,' " Doyle recalled.

Doyle, whose 25-year-old son, Joseph, a trader at the investment firm of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., died in the World Trade Center attacks, has been a leader of survivors and family organizations pushing the government to release more information.

Doyle isn't the only one who says Obama promised to make public the contents of 28 redacted pages in the December 2002 joint inquiry report by members of the Senate and House intelligence committees that considered evidence of potential Saudi involvement. Among those interested in the pages are a Philadelphia law firm as well as other families who lost loved ones.

Kristen Breitweiser, a New Jersey widow who for years was a leading voice of 9/11 survivors, said Obama made the same promise to her and others at a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office building adjoining the White House in February 2009, shortly after he took office.

"We had opportunities to raise our hands and ask questions, and I asked him whether he would be interested in releasing the 28 pages, because for years we had been trying to get President Bush to do it," said Breitweiser, who now lives in New York and whose husband, Ronald, worked on the 94th floor of the South Tower and died in the attacks.

Obama "said absolutely, I don't see why not. The bottom line is he agreed to do it, and he gave me and the rest of the world his promise," Breitweiser said.

New urgency
The issue has taken on new urgency because of a decision in December by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York reinstating Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a suit by the Center City law firm Cozen O'Connor, alleging the kingdom financed Islamist charities that in turn funded the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

In an earlier decision, in 2008, the Second Circuit had removed the kingdom as a defendant, but on different grounds, and the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Cozen and other law firms.

Saudi Arabia, denying it is responsible, has appealed the latest Second Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected in June to decide whether or not to take the case.

'Direct involvement'
Cozen lawyers, who represent dozens of insurers that lost billions in the attacks and who have been litigating the case since 2003, say that argument would be undermined if the redacted 28 pages show otherwise.

"The 28 pages of the joint inquiry report are absolutely critical to the claims brought against Saudi Arabia," said Sean Carter, a Cozen partner who has managed much of the litigation for the firm. "Those pages contain details and findings concerning the possible direct involvement of Saudi government officials living in the United States in support of the 9/11 hijackers.

"The release of that evidence would lay bare the sovereign immunity defenses Saudi Arabia has hid behind for more than a decade."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the remarks by Obama, who arrived in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Friday for talks with King Abdullah and other senior Saudi officials.

But 9/11 survivors and their allies on Capitol Hill have renewed their campaign to have the information released, pushing for enactment of a congressional resolution urging the 28 pages be made public. Reps. Walter B. Jones (R., N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) said they decided to sponsor the resolution after reading the classified contents.

Jones, speaking at a March 12 news conference on Capitol Hill, described the report as "shocking."

After the joint inquiry report was completed in late 2002, the New York Times and other news organizations reported the redacted pages dealt with allegations that Saudi government officials may have provided financial support to hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, who entered the United States in early 2000. They later became part of the five-member team that crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, after taking off from Washington's Dulles airport. Authorities later reported the two had received assistance from Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national based near Los Angeles who worked for a private contractor to the Saudi government.

Former Sen. Bob Graham, of Florida, who was cochair of the joint inquiry, has declined to discuss the details of the 28 pages. But in a statement filed in connection with the Cozen suit, Graham said he believed that Bayoumi was a Saudi government agent who assisted the hijackers, likely working with a former Saudi consular official and Muslim cleric in Los Angeles, Fahad al-Thumairy, who was banned from this country in 2003 for alleged terrorist ties.

"I am convinced that al-Bayoumi was an agent of the government of Saudi Arabia," Graham said in his statement. "To this date, the evidence has not been fully explored or pursued."

Bush administration officials explained in late 2002 that it was necessary to classify the 28 pages because they contained information U.S. authorities still were using to hunt down terrorists. Breitweiser and others say that justification has long since lost its merit. She said she never anticipated the information would remain classified for so long.

"The joke is we walked away thinking it was going to get done, and it wasn't done and no one followed up on it," Breitweiser said of the February 2009 meeting with Obama. "We basically exhaled and said the hard work is over and went on our happy way."

08-07-2014, 12:49 PM
Campaign Mounts to Declassify 9/11 Report’s References to Alleged Saudi Involvement


By Samuel Oakford
August 7, 2014 | 11:15 am

Nearly 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the extent of Saudi involvement in the deaths of almost 3,000 people remains unclear — but according to members of Congress and the families of victims, information about this has been suppressed ever since the publication of a 2002 congressional investigation into the plot.

Prior to the release of the final report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration classified a 28-page section in the name of national security.

Though speculations, accusations, and denials have swirled around these pages over the past decade, the call for their declassification has steadily grown since December 2013, when House Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced Resolution 428, a two-page document urging President Obama to release them to the public. Nine other representatives from both parties have co-sponsored the resolution.

Conspiracy theorists and fringe publications have seized on suspicion surrounding the redacted pages, but experts and sources close to the investigation have acknowledged that the material’s release would help address significant questions.

In April, Jones and Lynch sent a letter to Obama reiterating their request. They are planning a September 11 press conference with relatives of victims to highlight the issue. Adding fuel to the campaign, various family members have recounted to the media how President Obama had promised them that he would release the material.

08-30-2014, 08:00 PM
White House should release 9/11 documents



The death of American jihadist Douglas McArthur McCain in Syria raised few eyebrows. It is no secret that there are about 7,000 foreigners fighting alongside the terrorists known as the Islamic State of Islam (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, of which perhaps 150 to 300 are American.

McCain was a Christian who converted to Islam and many times posted his religious beliefs on social media, which may have connected him to ISIS terrorists overseas.

Some fear that terrorist groups are recruiting and working within the United States. Growing evidence seems to point to that conclusion, enough for the federal government to be investigating more than a few cases. One hits close to home.

Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha died in northern Syria earlier this year, having taken part in a suicide bombing as a member of al-Nusra Front, an al Qaida-linked terrorist organization. Abu-Salha died in May after detonating a truck full of explosives outside a restaurant that was popular with soldiers.

He was from Florida; some reports indicate that he lived 130 miles from Miami, though others pin him further north. The Sunshine State is no stranger to terrorists — some of Osama bin Laden’s most militant fighters, such as Mohammed Atta, lived low-key, unassuming lives in Coral Springs with other terrorists using simulators to learn how to pilot airplanes. Oddly, they had no clear means of support, nor did they speak English even at a passing grade.

None of this information is new except that we, as a nation, have a tremendous capacity to turn the page on events and sometimes forget what we have seen. That is not the case with Florida’s former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who has been fighting both the Bush and Obama administrations to declassify 28 pages of a 9/11 intelligence report that may detail and expose the efforts of members of the Saudi Arabian royal family in aiding and abetting these terrorists in Florida, many who were themselves Saudi.

Graham is befuddled as to why the Obama administration does not release these documents, which he read when he was chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and co-chair of a congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. As a result, he has joined a Freedom of Information Act request alongside others, asking that 80,000 pages of information on a Saudi family that disappeared just before the attacks be made public.

“It isn’t credible that 19 people — most that could not speak English well and did not have experience in the United States — could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance,” Graham insists in an interview on WPBT2’s public affairs show Issues, which I host. The Saudi family living in Sarasota fled to Saudi Arabia just prior to the 9/11 attacks. Were they tipped off that they should leave? If so, by whom?

Graham believes that there was a deliberate effort to cover up Saudi involvement in the tragedy of 9/11 by the Bush administration, one, he says, that the Obama administration appears to support.

One thing is clear: The United States has a complex relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is our strategic ally, while at the same time tolerant of members of government or the royal family who support terrorists.

In the past, both countries agreed on economic and political issues that led to regional stability, but over the years mistrust and misunderstanding have cast a shadow over this relationship.

The Saudis were not pleased when the United States distanced itself from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, for example. At the same time, the United States is concerned about Saudi Arabian support of Islamic extremists around the world.

The relationship between the two is entering a new phase, one that is not heavily based on U.S. reliance on Saudi oil but, rather, a more regional partnership to achieve certain goals. Graham has catalogued this as “a perfidious relationship.” Given the suspicious Saudi link with 9/11 terrorists, why the United States did not rethink this alliance before?

The American public needs to know. The families of those who were lost to the 9/11 attacks or those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve an answer as well.

09-01-2014, 09:03 AM
Judiciary committee taking up terror lawsuit bill


Created: 09/01/2014 5:31 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press

The Senate Judiciary Committee is marking the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by focusing its attention on a long-deliberated bill that would allow victims to recover monetary damages from foreign sponsors of terrorism.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. says the committee will take up consideration of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act as the nation pauses Thursday to remember the victims of the 2001 attacks.

Schumer and families of Sept. 11 victims are holding a press conference Monday at the World Trade Center site to urge the Senate to approve the bill.

Schumer says the bill allows victims and their families to sue foreign entities that sponsor deadly terrorist acts by eliminating protections in existing laws and legal decisions that give countries immunity.