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Sun 12 Jun 2016 09:28 AM

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CIA's classified 9/11 report to absolve Saudi Arabia

28-page classified document to be published, says intelligence chief

CIA's classified 9/11 report to absolve Saudi Arabia
CIA Director John Brennan. (Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyImages)

The director of the CIA expects a US congressional report on the September 11 2001 attacks to absolve Saudi Arabia of any responsibility.

"So
these 28 pages I believe are going to come out and I think it's good that they
come out," Brennan said in an interview with Saudi-owned Arabiya TV,
according to a transcript provided by the network.

“People
shouldn't take them as evidence of Saudi complicity in the attacks.”

The
withheld section of the 2002 report is central to a dispute over whether
Americans should be able to sue the Saudi government, a key US ally, for
damages.

The
US Senate passed a bill on May 17 allowing the families of September 11 victims
to do so, setting up a potential showdown with the White House, which has
threatened a veto.

Saudi
Arabia denies providing any support for the 19 hijackers – most of whom were
Saudi citizens – who killed nearly 3,000 people in the attacks. Riyadh strongly
objects to the bill.

It
has said it might sell up to $750 billion in US securities and other American
assets if it became law.

Brennan
called the 28-page section a "preliminary review".

"The
9/11 commission looked very thoroughly at these allegations of Saudi
involvement ... their conclusion was that there was no evidence to indicate
that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials
individually had supported the 9/11 attacks," he said.

The
Office of the US Director of National Intelligence is reviewing the material to
see whether it can be declassified.

Former
US Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the congressional inquiry into the
attacks, said in April that the White House will likely make a decision by June
on whether it would release the classified pages.