“Tribute in Lights,” in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in New York City. (Glyn Lowe / CC 2.0)

The Obama administration on Friday released a series of classified documents created during the 2002 congressional investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Kept secret for more than a decade, the documents, known as the “28 pages,” reveal what many have long speculated: that contacts of the Saudi government had connections to the 9/11 plane hijackers.

According to Erin Kelly of USA Today, “associates of Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar, the former longtime ambassador to the United States,” were linked to the hijackers. Kelly writes:

Osama Bassnan, who the documents identify as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego, received money from Bandar, and Bassnan’s wife also got money from Bandar’s wife.

“On at least one occasion,” the documents show, “Bassnan received a check directly from Prince Bandar’s account. According to the FBI, on May 14, 1998, Bassnan cashed a check from Bandar in the amount of $15,000. Bassnan’s wife also received at least one check directly from Bandar.”

Many are celebrating the release of the documents as a step toward greater government transparency. According to CNN, even the Saudi government has repeatedly “called for the pages to be made public so that it can respond to any allegations, which it has long called unfounded.” Additionally, families of victims looking to sue Saudi Arabia over alleged 9/11 financial support have been pushing for a release of the documents to support potential lawsuits.

As ABC News reports, information in the now-declassified documents may not be fully accurate:

The top two members of the House Intelligence Committee cautioned that much of the information in the newly released pages were not “vetted conclusions.”

“It’s important to note that this section does not put forward vetted conclusions, but rather unverified leads that were later fully investigated by the Intelligence Community,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. and the committee chairman, in a statement. “Many of the Intelligence Community’s findings were included in the 9/11 Commission report as well as in a newly declassified executive summary of a CIA-FBI joint assessment that will soon be released by the Director of National Intelligence.”

Although the documents are referred to as the “28 pages,” there are actually 29 pages total. You can read them in their entirety here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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