New York Post, by Emily Saul, March 21, 2017:
Families of 9/11 victims filed suit in Manhattan against Saudi Arabia Monday, claiming the Arab country knowingly facilitated the devastating terror attacks.
The consolidated action was filed in federal court on behalf of 2,500 spouses, children, parents and siblings of those who died when 19 al Qaeda insurgents hijacked four airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to retake control from the hijackers.
In total 2,977 innocent victims were killed.
“It’s become much clearer for the American public that the Saudi government and Saudi officials exhibited a pattern of support for al Qaeda, and that 9/11 would not have been possible without their support,” said attorney Andrew Maloney, whose firm is one of the five behind the suit.
The papers claim Saudi Arabia raised and laundered money to support al Qaeda activities, funded terrorist training camps “where al Qaeda taught their hijackers the skills they used to carry out the Sept. 11 attacks,” and actively supported al Qaeda in its final preparations.
The suit give several examples of how the country — a longtime ally of the US — is linked to al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 during a raid on his compound in Pakistan.
Specifically, the plaintiffs allege:
- Since 1986, Saudi Arabia used nine state-run charities to fund terrorism by collaborating with Osama bin Laden to establish al Qaeda. A “top ranking Saudi Arabia official,” along with close bin Laden pals, also joined in on this effort. One of those charities, al Haramain Islamic Foundation, provided funds to support al Qaeda, according to the US Department of Treasury.
- The kingdom adopted Wahhabism, an “extremist version of Islam,” as the state religion and used the faith to “justify [al Qaeda’s] campaign of anti-American violence.”
- Since at least the early 1990s, Saudi Arabia knew that “al Qaeda had begun to pursue and carry out terrorist attacks against the United States.”
- The kingdom also knew that between 1988 and 1990, bin Laden made speeches at his family’s mosque in Jeddah and other Saudi locations where he “declared that the United States was the primary target of al Qaeda.” In 1990, he allegedly stated, “The Americans won’t stop their support of Jews in Palestine until we give them a lot of blows. They won’t stop until we do jihad against them.”
- For years prior to Sept. 11, Saudi Arabia and its embassies, Ministry of Islamic Affairs and its Ministry of the Interior had a “relationship and communication with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s operatives, associates and activities throughout the world.”
- Saudi Arabia had knowledge of al Qaeda’s previous terror attempts on the US, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people.
- The Sept. 11 attacks were avoidable because since 1996, the US “urgently told Saudi Arabia that it needed background and financial information and other assistance regarding al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden in order to disrupt or interdict the threat of al Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States and its nationals.”
The suit follows a congressional override of then-President Barack Obama’s veto in September, which enacted a law allowing an exception to the legal principle of sovereign immunity in cases of terrorism on US soil.
While the first suits against Saudi Arabia were filed a month later, this is the first consolidated action filed against the Middle Eastern kingdom.
“We are grateful to our members of Congress for not only passing [the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ACT], but also overriding the veto of former President Obama,” Maloney said.
“We would hope to continue to enjoy the support of President Trump, and we hope he meant what he said,” the attorney added, referencing Trump’s September 2016 statement that Obama’s veto was “one of the low points” of his presidency.
Neither the Saudi Arabian embassies in New York or in Washington, DC returned messages.
- Saudi Arabia Sued Over 9/11 (dailycaller.com)