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Saudi Official Dismisses US Report On September 11

A Saudi official dismissed on Friday a U.S. congressional report implying that Riyadh had a role in the September 11, 2001 attacks, saying the claims were motivated by domestic electoral concerns. The official blamed the report’s criticism on Democrat congressmen seeking to discredit President George W. Bush’s administration ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2004. “It is individuals with grudges against their own government. They are running for elections,” said the official, who asked not to be named. “Most of the comments are from Democrats running for elections and we’re an easy target for them.” The U.S. report raised suspicions but reached no definite conclusion about whether Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi who knew two of the September 11 hijackers while living in San Diego, was connected to the Saudi government. The congressional report threaten to tarnish improved relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which has been cracking down on militants after suicide bombs in Riyadh in May killed 35 people, including nine Americans. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, said in a statement on Wednesday the issue had been investigated by the United States and Britain and dismissed. Full Story

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