America made a ‘deal with the devil’ as families sue Saudi Arabia

The US government has “made a deal with the devil” and a tireless group of 9/11 loved ones say they are fighting for their day in court to finally prove why it was such a horribly wrong decision.

No public trial for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has ever taken place – although many have fought for one – and the “last best hope” is now being played out in federal court in Manhattan.

The families want to expose how 19 al-Qaeda hijackers – including 15 Saudi nationals – crashed four jet planes, killing nearly 3,000 people in one day, won financial aid. They are suing Saudi Arabia to force some sort of admission.

“We want to make the story right and correct the narrative,” Brett Eagleson told the Boston Herald this week. “We want to see Saudi Arabia say it. Say they helped the hijackers.

Eagleson, who was 15 when his father died when the Twin Towers collapsed 21 years ago today, said recently declassified FBI documents indicate that “Omar Albayoumi received a monthly allowance as co-opted from the Saudi Presidency of General Intelligence”. This redacted FBI “electronic communication” shared with the Herald goes on to state that support for this foreign agent came “via Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan Alsuad.”

Prince Bandar served as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005.

Omar Albayoumi was a Saudi spy based in California, according to declassified FBI documents, according to multiple reports. The 9/11 Commission never knew.

Albayoumi is alleged to have aided 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar, who were the first to arrive in the United States when they landed in Los Angeles in January 2000. This Southern California terrorist cell was exposed years later in an FBI investigation. report entitled “PENTBOMB”.

“They had to be helped. They couldn’t even find their way out of LAX because they didn’t know what an exit sign was,” Eagleson said.

These first two hijackers would go on to San Diego where they attempted to train as pilots – not needing to know how to take off or land – then finally, with much help, boarded Flight 77, blasting it into the Pentagon during the September 11 killings 64 people on the plane and 125 at the Pentagon.

The other three hijacked jets – Flight 11 and Flight 175 from Logan International Airport in Boston and Flight 93 from Newark International Airport – crashed into the Twin Towers and a field respectively. Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11 in the first act of mass murder.

Now, the civil lawsuit filed by the 9/11 families in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has just ended with a limited discovery and now Saudi officials are preparing to seek a second dismissal of the case. Oral arguments could be set for the spring when the 9/11 families – with 10,000 plaintiffs joining them – could witness the first courtroom account of what was unearthed.

Or maybe not.

“The lawsuit could end in some kind of settlement, a payoff, or it will go away,” said Kirk Lippold, the former commanding officer of the USS Cole, an adjunct professor at the Naval Academy and an expert on terrorism. His destroyer was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000, while making a prearranged refueling stop at the port of Aden, Yemen.

Lippold said the lawsuit against the Saudis could “keep up the pressure” on the kingdom to seek more reform, but the US government remains tied to the nation in the fight against Islamic extremists.

“It’s a harsh recognition to sometimes have to deal with an unsavory government,” he said, adding that the 9/11 families have “suffered an unimaginable loss,” but the outcome of the trial is uncertain.

Debra Burlingame, whose brother was one of the pilots killed on Flight 77, said going public with the Saudi connections would be historic. But she said another trial should also start – the military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“The word we’re hearing is that (President) Biden wants to end the trial with a plea deal and remove the death penalty,” Burlingame said. “It’s been an extremely long journey.”

These debates will not be open to the public. It is still a death penalty case against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged accomplices.

“It’s ridiculous that it took this long,” said Brian Sullivan, a retired Boston-based Federal Aviation Administration official who warned of a terrorist attack in Logan months before it happened. occur.

“They should all have been tried and hanged a long time ago,” he told the Herald.

The 9/11 families, however, see this through.

“Our government has made a deal with the devil and there’s something we don’t know about,” said Eagleson, who sounded tired but resolute. “But it’s not over yet.”

The young father from Connecticut said he would drop by a local fire station today with his senator, Richard Blumenthal, and think back to when his father took him to the World Trade Center a month before the attacks so that he can see the city lights from above. of the world.

“He pointed out all the landmarks,” Eagleson said. “It was like the first time, and the last time I saw that. I’ll never forget.”

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