The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has blocked out almost all sections related to Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in 9/11 from newly-released documents on the agency’s “systemic problems” ahead of the attacks.
The CIA’s 495-page report, which included highly-classified files related to Riyadh’s connection to the September 11, 2001 attacks, was released on Friday afternoon.
A thirty-page section titled “Issues Relating to Saudi Arabia,” including subsections on “implications” and “accountability,” however, has almost entirely been redacted with the exception of three paragraphs.
In the wake of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004, the CIA called on its Office of the Inspector General to conduct its own investigation into the attacks.
The CIA’s release of the 2005 report late on Friday, prompted by Freedom of Information Act requests, comes years after the agency initially declassified part of the document.
Many argued the report’s release would resolve remaining questions about the Saudi connection to the attacks. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia.
The document, however, claims CIA investigators have found no evidence that Saudi Arabia “willingly supported” the 9/11 attacks.
“[T]he team encountered no evidence that the Saudi Government knowingly and willingly supported al-Qaeda terrorists,” reads the report.
It also says few individuals within the CIA did speculate that “dissident sympathizers within the government may have aided al-Qaeda.”
'Systemic failures' prior to 9/11
The document also reveals “systemic failures” in the US spy agencies that helped contribute to the country’s blindness about the 9/11 attacks, impeding efforts to track down top al-Qaeda leaders.
"Concerning certain issues, the team concluded that the (CIA) and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner," the report states.
The World Trade Center was struck by hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, in New York City, on September 11, 2001.
Earlier this month, Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, told Press TV that the release of the missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission's report would open up a huge can of worms.
“This missing document, these 28 pages, allegedly contain evidence of Saudi involvement in financing and backing the alleged 9/11 hijackers,” Barrett said.
“And those who have seen these pages, including [former] Florida Senator Bob Graham and other people in the Congress have said that it completely transforms one’s viewpoint of 9/11,” he added.
The September 11, 2001 attacks in New York were a series of strikes, which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
They believe that rogue elements within the US government orchestrated, or at least encouraged, the 9/11 attacks in order to affect their policies in the Middle East.