The 9/11 Lawsuits Against The Saudis are Happening for Real Now
The big lawsuits against the Saudis for their role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are finally moving forward.
Saudi Arabia is widely recognized as the primary sponsor of Islamic terrorism, and the evidence clearly shows that not just citizens of Saudi Arabia were involved in the attacks but the Saudi government itself funded the attackers. The evidence further shows that the attackers were aided and abetted by elements within the U.S. government.
Previously, American citizens could sue a foreign country only if the foreign government was officially designated as a “state sponsor of terrorism” by the U.S. Department of State. The Saudi government is widely recognized as the primary sponsor of Islamic terrorism but due to its wealth and power has been able to bribe and/or threaten those who could designate it as the state sponsor of terrorism that it is. Not only has the United States failed to designate Saudi Arabia as a state sponsor of terrorism but it continues to provide the country with military aid, sell it weapons and actively support its terrorist operations.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was passed by Congress on September 28, 2016, and overrode Obama’s previous veto of the law. It changed how the original concept of sovereign immunity worked and gave Americans the ability to get around the corruption of the Department of State and seek justice through civil suits. With JASTA in place, federal courts can exercise their own personal jurisdiction over a foreign state’s support of international terrorism against a U.S. national or property owned by a U.S. national regardless of whether or not the state is designated officially as a state sponsor of terrorism.
On March 21, 2017, a major lawsuit was filed by
the families of about 800 of the estimated 3,000 direct victims of the attack, plus another 1,500 who were injured while helping out as a result of the attack. The filing papers for that suit make the case that the September 11 attacks could not have happened without the involvement of the Saudi royal family, especially considering the close ties between the Saudi leadership and the bin Laden family, which orchestrated the attacks.
Three days later, on March 24, 2017, a second lawsuit was also filed in Manhattan against a variety of Saudi Arabian interests for the same September 11, 2001, attacks. And it is this one that perhaps Saudi officials may fear the most.
In this second lawsuit, a group of American insurance companies, including Liberty Mutual, Safeco, Wausau and several syndicates from Lloyd’s of London, are suing to collect damages related to an estimated over $10 billion in total property and infrastructure damage in the country.
The second lawsuit had been on hold for some time, after it had been previously dismissed by U.S. District Judge George Daniels of Manhattan. He had been involved in ruling on other September 11 lawsuits back in 2015. The plaintiffs had appealed the judge’s dismissal on the grounds that JASTA should apply in this case.
The appeal was vacated when the parties in the case on both sides, including the government of Saudi Arabia, the insurers and others, filed a joint brief agreeing that “JASTA was intended to apply” to cases like this and that the judge should rule on what it means.
The lawsuit was refiled in April with minor amendments and is now proceeding at full speed.
Listed as defendants in the case are the Al Rajhi Bank, the National Commercial Bank, Dallah Avco (an aviation contractor), the Mohammed Binladin Co, the Muslim World League and others. The Al Rajhi Bank is the largest Islamic bank in the world, based on 2015 information, and is also one of the larger stock companies in Saudi Arabia.
While others in the case have settled mostly for court filings to speak their opinion on the lawsuit, Al Rajhi has fought back against the claims, saying its bank “has no links to terrorism.” The plaintiffs disagree strongly. In their filings, they say the defendants “aided and abetted” terror by helping with many “activities in support of AlQaeda.” The lawsuit goes on to say that “But for the assistance provided by the defendants, Al-qaeda could not have successfully planned, coordinated and carried out the September 11th attacks, which were a foreseeable and intended result of their material support and sponsorship of Al-qaeda.”
It is a long way to a decision, but at least some progress is being made and the cases will certainly bring more facts to light that could support further investigations and civil actions against those truly responsible for the attacks of 9/11.
While no action has yet been taken against the many Americans who were involved in facilitating, executing the attacks or covering up the involvement of the Saudis, the suits may bring enough evidence to light to make it easier to pursue such cases. The Americans in the Bush administration who made the attacks happen are guilty not just of the murder of thousands of Americans but also the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria that has destroyed millions of lives and cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars.