9/11 attacks: Newly released pages 'show no top Saudi link'

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image captionSeveral previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission Report have been released

The White House has said previously classified papers concerning the 9/11 attacks released on Friday show there had been no official Saudi role.

Lawmakers and victims' families campaigned for years for their publication, alleging high-level Saudis were complicit in the attacks.

The pages from the 2002 report found it likely the attackers got financial help from people inside the kingdom.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who staged the 2001 attacks were Saudi nationals.

Almost 3,000 people were killed when they deliberately flew planes they had seized into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Another hijacked plane was brought down in a field in Pennsylvania.

An independent panel completed the 9/11 Commission Report a year after the attacks.

But several sections - informally known as "the 28 Pages" - were withheld from the public for 13 years, fuelling speculation about their contents.

image source, Getty Images
image captionNearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks

Campaigners who lobbied for their release argued the US government was shielding an important ally.

The released pages were still lightly redacted by the CIA. The report's original authors cautioned that some of the information contained in "the 28 pages" was uncorroborated material from the FBI.

According to the declassified document, "while in the United States, some of the 9/11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government".

It included a possibility that money was sent from the Saudi Royal family to the hijackers, among other alleged links.

However, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the pages "don't shed any new light or change any of the conclusions about responsibility for the 9/11 attacks".

"This information does not change the assessment of the US government that there's no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaida," he said.

The Saudi government said it welcomed the release of the documents.

Abdullah Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, said they confirmed "neither the Saudi government, nor senior Saudi officials, nor any person acting on behalf of the Saudi government provided any support or encouragement for these attacks".

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