U.S. government sources have confirmed that a “treasure trove” of documents confiscated in the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden, exposing the direct backing of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Gulf Cooperation Council states for Al Qaeda have been suppressed. One Washington source who had some knowledge of the Bin Laden documents emphasized that the “first priority remains the release of the 28 pages from the Joint Congressional Inquiry, which has been stalled for more than a dozen years.” Another U.S. official suggested that CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have enforced a total coverup of the damaging documents and have suppressed their being accessed by Congressional intelligence oversight committees and even the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
In May 2012, 17 documents, totaling 175 pages, were declassified and made public by the West Point Center for Combating Terrorism. Those documents exclusively dealt with internal Al Qaeda communications and revealed splits between “core Al Qaeda” and affiliated groups in Iraq and Yemen. None of the declassified documents dealt with relations between Bin Laden and any of the Gulf States or Pakistan. News coverage at the time of their release confirmed that all documents referencing Al Qaeda links to Pakistan’s ISI were classified and blocked from public disclosure. At the time that the West Point report was released, John Brennan was still at the White House as President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor.
One American diplomat emphasized that the still-classified documents are devastating for a number of Saudi and other Gulf officials whose intimate links to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda would force a significant shift in U.S. relations. Some published sources have documented that Prince Turki Bin Faisal sent a personal emissary to Afghanistan in 1997 to negotiate a deal with Bin Laden for Al Qaeda to drop its targeting of the Saudi Royal Family–in return for allowing a renewed flood of money to go from the Gulf states to the terror group. A year later, in 1998, two U.S. embassies in Africa were car bombed by Al Qaeda, followed by the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and then 9/11. At the time of the 1997 rapprochement, Prince Turki was head of Saudi intelligence.