Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175
Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 (L) flies toward the World Trade Center twin towersReuters

Politicians in the US Congress, including the Republican Senator Rand Paul, have urged President Obama to allow the release 28 pages of classified documents which they believe link Saudi officials with the September 11 terror attacks in 2001.

The documents were part of the 2002 joint House and Senate report "Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the [9/11] Terror Attacks", 28 pages of which have never been released.

15 of the 19 hijackers who took over four planes, crashing two into the World Trade Centre, on into the Pentagon and one into a field when passengers fought back, came from Saudi Arabia, as did Osama bin Laden. However there have long been suspicions that the Saudi regime itself was involved - which the Saudis deny.

Rand Paul Filibuster
US Senator Rand Paul wants 28 pages of the report into 9/11 declassifiedReuters

Rand Paul, leading the bipartisan effort to introduce a Senate bill, said in a statement: "I stand with my colleagues today to call for the release of the final 28 pages of the 9/11 congressional inquiry. I firmly believe the family members of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have the right to know the details surrounding the tragedies that occurred on that sad day."

Paul did not rule out reading the report on the floor of Congress unless the report is released. "We're going to try the normal legislative procedure first," said Rand, "and see how that goes."

In an interview with Al Jazeera, former Florida Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the first official enquiry into 9/11, said the US public would be shocked if they were to learn of the extent of Saudi involvement in the worst terrorist attack on US soil, in which almost 3,000 lost their lives and the so-called War on Terror began.

"If the American people knew the full truth, I believe there would be an outrage that a country which alleges to be such an ally of ours has engaged in so many actions that have been so extremely negative towards the United States," said Graham.

Representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts said: "this wasn't a mere deletion of a few words but a full-fledged blackout of 28 pages of the report. [It] "may have been a matter of national security to secure pages in 2002 but it is long since time that we made these reports public."

This is not the first time the Saudis have been accused of financing 9/11. However, the Saudis continue to insist they have nothing to hide and have urged the publication of the missing 28 pages to allow them to clear their name.