The director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan has dismissed claims that the so-called "missing chapter" report into the September 11 attacks contains evidence of the involvement of the Saudi Arabia regime. Brennan also said there was no evidence senior Saudi officials had been implicated in the attacks in 2001, in which almost 3,000 people were killed.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers, who took part in the worst terror attacks on US soil, were Saudi nationals, leading to speculation that the regime itself was involved either directly or indirectly. Twenty-eight of the 838 pages of the report of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission were withheld on the orders of then-US President George W. Bush in 2003 but the Obama administration says it will publish part or all of the missing chapter soon.
Speaking on Meet the Press on CBS, Brennan said the missing chapter contained uncorroborated and unvetted information which was now almost 14 years out of date. "Those so-called 28 pages, one chapter in this joint inquiry that was put out in December of 2002, was addressing some of the preliminary findings and information that was gathered by this joint commission within the Congress," said Brennan. "This chapter was kept out because of concerns about sensitive source of methods, investigative actions. The investigation of 9/11 was still underway in late 2002."
Asked whether everything in the missing chapter was false Brennan said: "No, I think there's a combination of things that is accurate and inaccurate. And I think the 9/11 Commission took that joint inquiry, and those 28 pages or so, and followed through on the investigation. And they came out with a very clear judgement that there was no evidence that indicated that the Saudi government as an institution, or Saudi officials individually, had provided financial support to Al Qaeda."
The Saudi regime has always denied having any connection to the September 11 attacks and has called for the release of the missing chapter in order to allow them "to respond to any allegations in a clear and credible manner." However, former Florida Senator Bob Graham, one of the report's authors, says he believes the attacks were supported by elements within the Saudi government. "There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if were they turned over, would give us a more expansive view of the Saudi role," said Graham.
Graham is backing the Schumer Bill which would allow the families of victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for damages. President Obama is against the Bill, and the Saudis have angered many in the US by threatening to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of assets if the bill is passed.