U.S. considers declassifying report on Saudi funding of al Qaeda

President George W. Bush being welcomed in Riyadh in 2008. Bush and Obama administration officials say the Saudis are valuable in aiding the war on terror. Credit Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

(Reuters) – The Obama administration is considering whether to declassify still-secret sections of a congressional inquiry into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks which examined Saudi Arabian support for Islamist militants, the White House said on Thursday.

Interest in the 28-page section of the report was raised after an imprisoned former al Qaeda operative, Zacarias Moussaoui, said in deposition transcripts filed this week that more than a dozen prominent Saudi figures donated to his group in the late 1990s. Saudi officials have denied this.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that following a congressional request last year the intelligence community was undertaking a review of the decision to classify the secret section. He did not say when it might be completed.

Earnest sought to counter any concern about current U.S.-Saudi ties, saying: “The United States and Saudi Arabia maintain a strong counterterrorism relationship as a key element of our broad and strategic partnership”…