Op-ed

Did_Saudi_Arabia_play_role_Montages.jpg

Did Saudi Arabia play role in 9/11?

by Candice Malcolm

Toronto Sun
July 20, 2016

In the Middle East, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a friend and an enemy.

For decades, the United States treated Saudi Arabia as a friend and ally, while the Saudis treated America as an enemy.

A newly declassified report highlights this betrayal.

In 2002, the United States Congress released its inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. But for 14 years, it kept 28 pages hidden from the public.

Those pages were finally released last week.

They outline possible connections between al-Qaida terrorists, Saudi spies in the U.S. and members of the Saudi royal family.

While the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia’s rulers insist the pages provide no conclusive evidence of official Saudi involvement in 9/11 — a view repeated by mainstream media — the report itself offers a somewhat different perspective.

In fact, the first sentence seems to debunk President Barack Obama’s narrative.

It reads: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.”

The report describes an intricate web of possible Saudi spies, consulate staff, government officials, and mosque leaders who allegedly worked alongside the hijackers in the weeks and months leading up to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

Individuals believed to be spies used Saudi-funded Islamic centres and mosques as meeting places.

They stayed in the same apartments and hotels as the hijackers, and were allegedly receiving funds from members of the Saudi royal family.

According to the report, a Saudi intelligence officer “reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi government officials.”

He also reportedly boasted to an imbedded FBI agent that he did more than others to help the hijackers.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said this new information is “a chilling description of Saudi ties to terrorists, Saudi payments to terrorists, and Saudi obstruction of U.S. antiterrorism investigations.”

Writing in the New York Post, investigative journalist Paul Sperry went further.

“Washington has misled the American people about foreign sponsorship of 9/11. For 15 years, we’ve been told that al-Qaida acted alone, with no state sponsors,” wrote Sperry. “It was all a monstrous lie.”

The Obama administration’s decision to release this report may have to do with America’s relationship with another state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.

Since Iran and Saudi Arabia are longtime adversaries, a damaging report against the Saudis plays well for Obama and his pivot towards Iran.

In fact, the final pages of the 9/11 report were released one year after the U.S. signed its disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.

For decades leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. cozied up to Saudi Arabia.

Despite mounting evidence the Saudi government was sponsoring terrorism and undermining national security, American leaders looked the other way when it came to the Saudis.

Now we know this unscrupulous relationship may have been at least partly responsible for the 9/11 attacks, as well as the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rather than learning from perhaps the most sordid mistake in modern history, Obama seems to have dumped one Islamist government in exchange for another.

Out with the Saudi royals, in with Iran’s mullahs.

Barack Obama is placing undue trust in the Iranian regime in the same way that George W. Bush placed undue trust in the Saudis.

And the consequences may be just as deadly.

Image: AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler

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