Five years after the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States, relatives of victims say they still have unanswered questions about what happened that day. Now, some of the families are calling for a new investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks.
A group calling itself the 9/11 Families says it is not satisfied with the lengthy report issued by the independent 9/11 Commission that examined the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The 9/11 Families group has launched a campaign calling for a completely new investigation.
"We are not crazy. We have questions. We demand answers," said Donna Marsh O'Connor, whose pregnant daughter died in one of the World Trade Center towers. She and other family members are pressing for answers to questions they say, either were not adequately answered, or were raised after the 9/11 Commission's investigations. She says one of these questions has to do with reports that U.S. officials allowed a group of Saudi citizens to fly home in the days following September 11th.
"All I asked that day was, 'why could I not fly home from Toronto, but Osama bin Laden's family and some Saudi nationals, whose names I still don't know, were flown out of the country, in our airspace?' I was grounded," she said. "They were not."
The former chairman of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, Republican Thomas Kean, said this question was answered in his group's report, which was issued in December 2005.
"We spent an enormous amount of time checking that [issue] out, because it had been in a movie ["Farenheit 9//1"], and it was so prevalent," he said. "And, it turned out that, no, it wasn't true. The people had been allowed to leave, but only after they had been checked by the FBI, and only after American airspace was open."
The former 9/11 Commission vice chairman, Democrat Lee Hamilton, added that the 10-member commission did the best it could to be comprehensive, despite limited resources and time.
"You have, in an event like 9/11, thousands and thousands of questions," he said. "You cannot possibly answer all those questions. Tom and I could never go into any group, of any kind, anywhere, without people pressing upon us questions to be addressed, giving us a copy of a book, giving us a copy of an article."
Hamilton acknowledged that he and fellow commissioners may have "goofed up" occasionally, when making judgments about, which leads to follow up on. But he says he believes they made the right decisions most of the time.
The 9/11 Commission report strongly criticized the White House and Congress for what it said were inadequate efforts to make the United States safer from future terrorist attacks. Both Kean and Hamilton said they are dismayed that many of the report's 41 recommendations still have not been implemented.