WASHINGTON – Congress on Friday released 28 previously classified pages discussing potential connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The House Intelligence Committee voted to reveal the pages, which are part of a larger 2002 investigation of the 9/11 attacks by the House and Senate intelligence committees. Their classification has proven controversial because of allegations that they contain information linking Saudi Arabia to the hijackers.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for their release, but the Obama administration has said it would do so only after careful review. Administration officials have also downplayed the significance of the information, noting that the 9/11 commission created by Congress thoroughly examined the issue and did not find evidence of a link between Saudi officials and the hijackers who staged the attacks on New York and Washington.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, former chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said she welcomed the release of the material. She urged the administration to declassify additional follow-up assessments compiled by the FBI and intelligence agencies.

“The Saudis too often play a double game,” Collins said. “At times, they are a helpful ally in the fight against terrorism, but they also sow the seeds of Islamic extremism by financing Wahabbi mosques in other countries.”

[Read the long-classified ’28 pages’ on alleged Saudi ties to 9/11]

Former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham (D-Fla.) has led the charge to release the pages, arguing that they would give the public more information to evaluate whether there was foreign support for the hijackers.

“Americans are fully capable of reviewing the 28 pages and making up their own minds about their significance,” he wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post earlier this year.