WASHINGTON/RIYADH: CIA chief John Brennan says that he believes the 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission report will prove that the Saudi Arabian government had no involvement in the 9/11 al Qaeda terror attacks.
The families of those killed in the attacks have long wanted the pages from the 2002 report -- officially titled the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 -- made public.
There had been widespread speculation that these pages concern Saudi Arabia, its wealthy citizens and the financing of terrorist operations.
But whatever was actually contained in those 28 pages was ultimately redacted from the report, and the families have been waiting 14 years to read the government's conclusions.
Brennan, in an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV network, said that the pages were part of a "preliminary" joint inquiry that was published in 2002 -- just a year after 9/11.
The inquiry at the time had tried to "pull together bits and pieces of information reporting about who was responsible for 9/11."
Following this initial report, Brennan said, the 9/11 commission "looked very thoroughly at these allegations of Saudi involvement, Saudi government involvement and... their conclusion was that there was no evidence to indicate that the Saudi government as an institution -- or as senior Saudi officials individually -- had supported the 9/11 attacks."
"I think it's good that (the pages) come out," CNN quoted the CIA chief as saying during the interview.
He said subsequent reviews and assessments "really have shown that it was very, very unfortunate that these attacks took place. But this was the work of al Qaeda, of Bin Laden, (current al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri), and others of that ilk."
The US House Foreign Affairs committee held a hearing in May on a controversial bill passed by the Senate that would create rights for victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue the country of Saudi Arabia.
At the time, White House press secretary Josh Earnest renewed the threat that President Barack Obama will veto the bill, saying it "would change long standing international law regarding sovereign immunity."
The Saudi government had warned of economic reprisals if Congress passed the 9/11 bill.