The Saudis are upset that the 9/11 congressional report issued last week alleges possible links between individuals in the Saudi government and some of the 11 September 2001 hijackers. They would like the report declassified so they can respond.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal is in Washington where he has attempted to convince officials of the need to publicise the blacked out portions of the report where the allegations are believed to have been made.
“We cannot agree to that request at this time because of ongoing investigations and our national security interests,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
He said the 28 crucial pages were kept classified based on the recommendation of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials because the section contains information about “ongoing investigations, counter-terrorism operations and sensitive sources and methods”.
|“We cannot agree to that request at this time because of ongoing investigations and our national security interests.”
–White House spokesman
“Publishing that material at this time would compromise our national security and possibly interfere with investigations of the events of September 11,” McClellan said.
McClellan said the United States had received great cooperation from Saudi Arabia in the investigation of the 11 September attacks and has been fighting hard to contain al-Qaeda which has been blamed for it.
But he said there was an active, sensitive investigation underway involving individuals from many countries, and “we cannot and will not compromise our ability to bring those involved to justice.”