The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has long been a strained one.
But lately, tensions have grown markedly worse between the allied nations…
That's because there is a push to declassify a secret chapter of the 838-page joint inquiry report by the House and Senate intelligence committees, who issued a report on the 9/11 attacks way back in December 2002.
According to an April 10 "60 Minutes" interview with former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), the pages were originally excised from the 9/11 report by the Bush administration in the interest of national security. Graham was chairman of the Senate Select Committee at the time and co-chairman of the 9/11 inquiry. He, too, believes the pages should now be released.
Driving a renewed focus on the top-secret content is congressional legislation that would, for the first time, allow lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for the attacks.
Regardless of the foreign minister's warning, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, publically stated yesterday that at least some classified information from the 28-page-long secret chapter could be released as early as June.
Here's what the redacted document is believed to contain…
How Saudi Arabia Could Be Connected to the 9/11 Attacks
Sensitive information is allegedly contained within those 28 pages — like revelatory outlines of the connections that were made on U.S. soil that point directly back to Saudi Arabia.
In January 2000, the first two of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 terror plots landed in Los Angeles after attending an al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur. Saudi nationals Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdar came to the States without the ability to speak English and with no knowledge of life in the Western world. Once here, they connected with several Middle Eastern men, including one American imam, who would later become al-Qaeda's chief of propaganda and "spiritual advisor" to five of the attackers.
According to "60 Minutes," the 9/11 report says the pages were censored to "protect the delicate relationship with a complicated kingdom where the rulers, royalty, riches — and religion — are all deeply intertwined in its institutions."
Yet a line within the report states, "We have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization."
The Saudis believe that statement alone exonerates them from any wrongdoing.
But lawyers for the families of 9/11 victims believe the particular language of this statement was designed to intentionally mislead. "When they say that we've found no evidence that senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qaeda, they conspicuously leave open the potential that they've found evidence that people who were officials that they did not regard as senior officials had done so," lawyer Sean Carter told "60 Minutes."
Sen. Graham agreed. In fact, he believes the pages outline a major network of Saudi high-rollers who supported the hijackers while in the United States.
It's hard not to take Graham at his word considering he's one of the very few who's actually read the documents. He helped compile the report, after all.
When questioned by "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft if 9/11 attacker support came from the Saudi government, rich people, or charities, Graham simply replied, "All of the above."
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- CBS News: 28 Pages