9/11 lawsuit against Saudis advances after rulings
WASHINGTON DC: As the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaches, relatives of the victims are lobbying the courts to respond to what they see as lingering questions about the Saudi government’s role in the attacks.
A lawsuit that accuses Saudi Arabia of being an accomplice has taken a big step forward this year with the interrogation under oath of former Saudi officials, but these statements remain under seal and the United States has withheld a mine of other documents, claiming they are too sensitive to disclose. .
This information vacuum infuriated families who for years tried to argue that the Saudi government had assisted in the attacks. Previous investigations have highlighted links between Saudi nationals and some of the hijackers, but have not established that the government was involved.
âThe legal team and the FBI, the investigative agencies, may know the details of the deaths of my father and thousands of other family members, but the people for whom it is most important not to know, “said Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was among the World Trade Center casualties. “It’s adding salt to an open sore for everyone in the 9/11 family.”
Lawsuit brought by relatives of Americans killed in 9/11 terror attack stepped forward as victims’ lawyers will ask judge to allow access to secret government documents and testimony of key subjects surveyed over the past year.
In the trial, relatives seek to determine the role played by Saudi Arabia in the attacks.
“We are in a situation where only now, thanks to the documents that we have obtained and to what our investigators have discovered and the testimonies that we have gathered, it is only now that this iceberg has been under water.” floats on the surface, attorney James Kreindler said, as cited by The Associated Press.
The Saudi government has denied being involved in the attacks.
The issue of Saudi involvement was central to the attack for many, as 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi and could have received assistance once in the United States before the attacks.
However, documents released over the past two decades have failed to prove the Saudi government’s complicity.
Earlier, a U.S. government commission said it found no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials funded the terrorists, although it said Saudi-linked charities could have finance terrorism.
In 2016, part of a congressional report on the September 11 attacks was declassified. The document identified people who associated with the hijackers after they arrived in the United States. The report also said some hijackers had connections and support from people who may have been linked to the Saudi government, and FBI sources suggested that at least two of those people may have been Intelligence Officers. Saudi.
However, the report did not come to a conclusion on Saudi complicity.
Former FBI agent Stephen Moore said in 2017 that “diplomatic and intelligence personnel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two 9/11 hijackers.”
The families of the 9/11 victims have lodged a complaint because they believe the Saudi involvement has not been disclosed due to the US government’s reluctance to a full account.
In 2018, a court ruling allowed lawyers for the plaintiffs to question Saudis suspected of being involved in the terrorists.
The Justice Department has also handed over once-secret documents, although the information remains under protective order.
Some information, however, is withheld, having been classified as “state secrets” and potentially endangering national security.
âSooner or later this lawsuit is going to become mainstream, and there is going to be tremendous pressure from the public, and they can’t keep it a secret forever,â Eagleson said.