Families of 800 victims and 1,500 first responders of the 9/11 terror attacks have filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia. They accuse Saudi Arabia of involvement in the terror attacks that claimed lives of nearly 3,000 people.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, states officials of Saudi embassies supported hijackers Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar 18 months before the tragedy. The kingdom allegedly helped the hijackers learn English and obtain credit cards and cash. They were also taught how to blend in with American culture.
It is believed 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and three of them had previously worked for the kingdom. The lawsuit further alleges that the Saudi officials in Germany supported the lead hijacker Mohamed Atta and that a Saudi official was even in the same hotel in Virginia with hijackers the night before the attacks.
The lawsuit is being handled by Kreindler & Kreindler. The aviation law firm has been working with the families of the victims for the last 16 years.
“This lawsuit is a demonstration of the unwavering commitment of the 9/11 families to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its critical role in the 9/11 attacks,” said Jim Kreindler, aviation attorney.
It is further asserted that Saudi royals were aware of the fact that funds from Saudi charities were being poured to al-Qaida but they chose to remain silent in order to avoid losing power. It claims that charities that funded al-Qaida include the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, which was designated as a sponsor of terrorism by the United States.
“The charities were alter egos of the Saudi government that were staffed by the government, that ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and the whole world knows they were dirty,” added Kreindler.
Last year, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that allowed victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to file lawsuits seeking damages from Saudi Arabia. A report also emerged that showed “a Saudi Arabia-based network [could have] helped the hijackers in the US.” A few members of Congress have read the report, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL); both currently support the notion that families affected by 9/11 should have access to the report.
Eventually, the U.S. Congress released a long-classified section of the official report on the attacks.
“According to various FBI documents and CIA memorandum, some of the September 11 hijackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government," read the report.
9/11 families sue Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. lawsuit accuses Saudi govt of being complicit in September 11th attacks pic.twitter.com/hNsQM5761k— Chris Essner (@ChrisEssner) March 20, 2017
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Andrew Kelly