CLASSIFIED documents related to the September 11 terrorist attacks that struck New York City and the Pentagon in 2001 are believed to contain damning evidence of official Saudi involvement in the atrocities.
A former member of the 9/11 commission, which issued a tome-like report on the attacks and where the responsibility lay, has come forward to make public his belief that there were concrete links between employees of the Saudi Arabian government and the hijackers’ complex support network.
John F Lehman, a Republican investment banker and former navy secretary under Ronald Reagan, has caused a public split in the perceived unity of the original 10 commissioners behind the report by criticising the chairman’s reluctance to release a missing 28 pages said to contain explosive and unvetted material.
Saudi Arabia has long been considered complicit in the attacks by Middle East experts, and even the general public, given the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
Furthermore the rise of Wahabi extremism is often linked to the Saudi Government’s efforts to deflect violent radicals away from the Kingdom, while making the Saudi brand of political Islam more dominant than its Shia rivals.
“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” said Lehmann. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.”
A strong ally of the United States in the region, Saudi Arabia has long been the target of passionate criticism over its murderous human rights record, medieval approach to justice, and treatment of women.
Its brutal regime has, however, proved a helpful bulwark for the Americans against growing Iranian influence in the region, although this policy has largely backfired with the rise of Daesh, which follows the same virulent strain of Islam as that practiced in the hard-line theological schools of the Kingdom.