Saudi Ara­bia says there’s no proof it backed Sept. 11 at­tack

Austin American-Statesman - - STATESMAN AT THE LEGISLATURE - By Larry Neumeister

Saudi Ara­bia on Tues­day asked to be dropped from a Sept. 11 law­suit that vic­tims’ fam­i­lies filed, say­ing no ev­i­dence links it to the deadly ter­ror­ist act.

Lawyers for Saudi Ara­bia made the re­quest in pa­pers filed in Man­hat­tan fed­eral court, say­ing lawyers for Sept. 11 fam­i­lies and sur­vivors of the 2001 at­tack had failed re­peat­edly for the last 14 years to gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to sub­ject the U.S. ally to the $100 bil­lion law­suit brought against nu­mer­ous gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal de­fen­dants. De­fen­dants Iran, the Tal­iban and al-Qaida al­ready have been found in de­fault.

The lawyers said pur­ported new ev­i­dence, like “the thou­sands of pages they un­suc­cess­fully pre­sented be­fore,” are hearsay and spec­u­la­tion and are “in­suf­fi­cient to sup­port the find­ings re­quired for ju­ris­dic­tion over Saudi Ara­bia.” They added that the plain­tiffs had reached “grandiose con­clu­sions” that far ex­ag­ger­ate the im­por­tance of “thread­bare al­le­ga­tions and nonex­is­tent ev­i­dence.”

In the law­suit, hun­dreds of vic­tims’ rel­a­tives and in­jured sur­vivors, along with in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and busi­nesses, claim that em­ploy­ees of the Saudi gov­ern­ment di­rectly and know­ingly as­sisted the at­tack’s air­plane hi­jack­ers and plot­ters and fu­eled al-Qaida’s development into a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by fund­ing char­i­ties that sup­ported them.

Fif­teen of the 19 at­tack­ers were Saudis. Now-de­clas­si­fied doc­u­ments show U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tors looked into some Saudi diplo­mats and oth­ers with Saudi gov­ern­ment ties who had con­tact with the hi­jack­ers after they ar­rived in the U.S. The 9/11 Com­mis­sion re­port found “no ev­i­dence that the Saudi gov­ern­ment as an in­sti­tu­tion or se­nior Saudi of­fi­cials in­di­vid­u­ally funded” the at­tacks al-Qaida mas­ter­minded, but the com­mis­sion also noted “the like­li­hood” that Saudi-gov­ern­ment-spon­sored char­i­ties did.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.