WASHINGTON – A long-awaited final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will be released in the next two weeks, containing new information about U.S. government mistakes and Saudi financing of terrorists.
Former Rep. Tim Roemer, who served on the House Intelligence Committee and who has read the report, said it will be ”highly explosive” when it becomes public.
The staff director for the congressional investigation that produced the 800-page report, Eleanor Hill, said Wednesday that several lengthy battles with the Bush administration over how much secret data to declassify have been resolved.
She expects the document to go to the Government Printing Office late this week and then be made public about a week later.
”It’s compelling and galvanizing and will refocus the public’s attention on Sept. 11,” predicted Roemer, an Indiana Democrat. “Certain mistakes, errors and gaps in the system will be made clear.”
A source familiar with the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, cited two ”sensitive areas” of the report that will command public attention:
• More information on ties between the Saudi royal family, government officials and terrorists. The FBI may have mishandled an investigation into how two of the Sept. 11 hijackers received aid from Saudi groups and individuals.
John Lehman, a member of the independent commission, said at a hearing Wednesday: “There’s little doubt that much of the funding of terrorist groups whether intentional or unintentional is coming from Saudi sources.”
• A coherent narrative of intelligence warnings, some of them ignored or not shared with other agencies, before the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The report will show that top Bush administration officials were warned in the summer of 2001 that the al Qaeda terrorist network had plans to hijack aircraft and launch a “spectacular attack.”