Sept. 11 report termed explosive
Joe Baker, Senior Editor
The federal government soon will release its final report on the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The report contains new information on U.S. errors and Saudi financing of terrorists, according to the Miami Herald.
The newspaper reported that Rep. Tim Roemer, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has read the report and said it will be highly explosive when it is made public.
Eleanor Hill, staff director of the congressional investigation that produced the 800-page report, said there had been several long battles with the Bush administration concerning how much data could or should be declassified.
Hill said those disputes have been resolved, and she expects the report to go to the Government Printing Office very shortly.
Its compelling and galvanizing, said Hill, and will refocus the publics attention on Sept. 11. Certain mistakes, errors and gaps in the system will be made clear.
A source informed about the investigation, who declined to be identified, said there are two sensitive areas that will draw public attention.
First, there is more information on links between the Saudi royal family, federal officials and terrorists. It also shows the FBI may have botched an investigation of two of the 9-11 hijackers and how they got aid from Saudi groups and citizens.
John Lehman, a member of the investigating commission, said, Theres little doubt that much of the funding of terrorist groupswhether intentional or unintentionalis coming from Saudi sources.
Immediately after 9-11, readers of the Chicago Tribune may remember the full-page ad taken out by the Saudi royal family and embassy to offer support for America and expressing sorrow about the event.
Secondly, the report will furnish a coherent narrative of intelligence warnings, some of which were ignored or not passed on to other agencies, before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
It is claimed this report will demonstrate that Bush administration officials were warned in the summer of 2001 that al-Qaeda had plans to hijack airplanes and make a spectacular attack in this country.
In January 1995, Philippine police arrested Abdul Hakim Murad after bomb-making equipment was found in his apartment. Murad told police of plans to blow up 11 U.S. airliners simultaneously and to crash a jet into CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.
Later that year, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, alleged organizer of the World Trade Center attacks, was captured in Pakistan. He told U.S. authorities of the plan to blow up airliners and to attack the CIA, all in a single day.
The Miami Herald said Hill would not discuss specifics of the report, but did say it will contain new information about disclosures of last year when the joint House-Senate commission conducted nine public hearings and 13 closed sessions.
The report has been finished since December. Since that time, a group of administration officials has edited the document, objecting to further public disclosure.
The two chairmen of the commission, Sen. Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, have been pushing for months for greater disclosure.
Graham, who is a presidential candidate, charged the administration has been using the claim of national security to prevent the release of information embarrassing to the government.
The congressional probe focused on intelligence before and after 9-11, while the independent commission also is addressing immigration, airline safety and congressional oversight on terrorism.
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