Washington, US intelligence officials would be required to review and declassify documents on any involvement by the government of Saudi Arabia or any Saudi individuals in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States under the bipartisan 9/11 Transparency Act announced by Senator Robert Menendez.
“This bill would direct and require the director of national intelligence, the attorney general and the director of the CIA to conduct a timely review of all the relevant documents and declassify them as appropriate,” Menendez said on Thursday.
If the agencies do not declassify a document they would be required to provide Congress with an explanation “so we will at least know that a document or a record exists.”
Menendez spoke in front of the Capitol, flanked by families of victims in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Many of the families of the victims held photos of the loved ones for whom they have mourned and sought accountability for the past 20 years.
“If the United States government is sitting on any documents that may implicate Saudi Arabia or any individual or any country in the events of September 11, these families and the American people have a right to know,” Menendez said.
The legislation enjoys bipartisan support. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer spoke at the event. The bill’s cosponsors include senior Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and John Thune.
The legislation is modeled on a 2014 declassification of documents on the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Menendez said.
Fifteen of the 19 terrorists hijackers who crashed four jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania were Saudi nationals.