9/11 Commmision: Saudi Officials Supported Hijackers

| by Michael Allen
South Tower 9/11South Tower 9/11

John Lehman, a former member of the 9/11 Commission, says there is evidence that Saudi Arabia government employees aided the 9/11 hijackers. Lehman wants the Obama administration to release 28 pages -- censored by the Bush administration -- from the 2002 Congressional report of the 9/11 attack.

"There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government," Lehman told the Guardian. "Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia."

The 9/11 Commission was formed by then-president George W. Bush and members of Congress in response to the 2002 Congressional report.

The 9/11 Commission's 2004 final report said there was "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually" were involved in 9/11, which was seen as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from.

According to Lehman, the 9/11 Commission knew of at least five Saudi government officials implicated in the 9/11 terrorists' al-Qaida support network .

"They may not have been indicted, but they were certainly implicated," Lehman stated. "There was an awful lot of circumstantial evidence."

Lehman did not think the Saudi royal family or leadership were involved in 9/11, but said there was a criminal investigation of employees of the Saudi ministry of Islamic affairs.

Lehman said the 28 pages from the 2002 Congressional report should be made public as soon as possible.

Former Democratic Rep. Tim Roemer of Indiana, 9/11 Commission associate and member of the 2002 Congressional Committee, also wants the 28 pages released.

"Sure, you're gonna be surprised by it," Roemer told CBS News' "60 Minutes" in April. "And, you're going to be surprised by some of the answers that are sitting there today in the 9/11 Commission report about what happened in San Diego, and what happened in Los Angeles. And what was the Saudi involvement."

In the same broadcast, former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, who played a part in writing the 2002 Congressional report, and former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, another member of the 9/11 Commission, said that they wanted the 28 pages to be released.

Sources: Guardian, CBS News / Photo credit: Robert/Flickr

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