Responding to pressure from US President Barack Obama, the families of victims, and even the Saudi government, US government officials have claimed that the release of the top-secret chapter is "imminent."
The 28 pages allegedly relate to Saudi Arabia’s connections with the hijackers. Speaking to CQ Roll Call, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, say the chapter could be released in the coming days, but that the ultimate decision will be made by intelligence committee leaders.
"Ultimately, leadership will decide," Schiff told CQ.
Both Burr and Schiff support the release of the pages. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also publicly supported unveiling the documents. In April, President Obama said the White House would look into having the pages declassified, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper citing mid-June as a potential release date.
In May, the US Senate passed a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government over its alleged role in the attack. The bill was strongly criticized by the President.
While 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens, Riyadh has denied any involvement in the attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people. While the kingdom threatened retaliation in the wake of the Senate bill, it has also called for the 28 pages to be released, maintaining that the documents will prove the government’s innocence.
"Saudi Arabia has played an indirect role in what happened in 9/11. They’ve been financing, training, and supporting terrorism, and using terrorism as a foreign policy tool against its enemies," journalist Roshan Muhammad Salih told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear in April.
"I’m not saying Saudi Arabia ordered the 9/11 attack, but they’ve created this kind of Frankenstein’s monster of terrorists who are out of control, to a certain extent, and go on these freelance operations."
If the papers are to be released by week’s end, some major steps still have to be taken. Speaking to CQ, Burr said that as of Wednesday evening, Congress has neither received a redacted copy of the pages nor been briefed by the intelligence community.