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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Graham: Unsealed 28 pages 'point very strong finger' at Saudis



Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham told a Tampa radio interviewer Tuesday that the recently declassified 28 pages of a report that studied possible links between Saudi Arabia and the Sept. 11 terror attacks strongly points in the direction of the Saudi government.

Interviewed on public radio's WMNF, Graham said: "I think they point a very strong finger that Saudi Arabia was a collaborator with the hijackers."

The former senator told host Rob Lorei that it was "highly implausible" that the 19 hijackers who committed the worst and most sophisticated terrorist attack on U.S. soil in 2001 masterminded it by themselves when they didn't speak English, hadn't been in the U.S. before and were not well-educated.

Congress made the 28 pages public last week after concealing them from public view for more than 13 years. The report is here.

Graham, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a former Democratic governor of Florida, has long been at the forefront in calling for release of the documents.

Experts have offered mixed reviews as to the significance of the newly-declassified information. The New York Times national security correspondent, Mark Mazzetti, on Twitter called the pages "a bit of a hodge podge, with some investigative leads that went cold, but are a fascinating read." In a lengthy report, Mazzetti wrote that the documents expose "a wide-ranging catalog of meetings and suspicious coincidences" and "a frustrating time capsule."

Graham reiterated in the WMNF interview that Saudi Arabia has been an "unreliable ally" that has provided training to terrorists and has prepared the next generation of terrorist soldiers. "Saudi Arabia is not the ally that we've pretended it to be," Graham said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 1:13pm]


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