9/11 fam­i­lies out­raged over Saudi Ara­bia’s $750B ‘black­mail’


OUT­RAGED 9/11 fam­i­lies ac­cused Saudi Ara­bian of­fi­cials Satur­day of black­mail­ing the U.S. to hide their al­leged role as fi­nanciers of the World Trade Cen­ter ter­ror­ists.

The fierce at­tacks came af­ter a Satur­day re­port that the Saudis threat­ened to sell off up to $750 bil­lion in U.S. as­sets if Congress passes leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing its govern­ment to be held li­able in 9/11-re­lated law­suits.

Fam­i­lies who lost loved ones in the ter­ror at­tacks say Pres­i­dent Obama, who is lob­by­ing in­ten­sively to de­rail the bill, ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, is on the wrong side of the is­sue.

“I’m fu­ri­ous. This is a slap in the face to the 9/11 fam­i­lies,” said Jim Riches, the re­tired FDNY deputy chief whose fire­fighter son Jimmy died in the Trade Cen­ter rub­ble.

“Let them keep their money. We don’t want their money. It’s not worth 3,000 Amer­i­can lives. Call their bluff.”

Riches slammed Obama, five months shy of the 15th an­niver­sary of the at­tacks.

“How in his right con­science can he do this?” Riches asked. “Mean­while, they slap us in the face. Stand up for our prin­ci­ples.”

Terry Strada, whose hus­band Thomas was a Can­tor Fitzger­ald bond bro­ker on the 104th floor, echoed other fam­ily voices by urg­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to stand its ground against the Saudi fi­nan­cial threat.

“Why do they cave in to the Saudi Ara­bian govern­ment in­stead of pro­tect­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple?” she asked. “They’re just try­ing to keep the Saudis’ dirty lit­tle se­cret. We’ve never held them ac­count­able.”

The fam­ily mem­bers are cur­rently ap­peal­ing a de­ci­sion made last year that pro­tected Saudi Ara­bia from a law­suit charg­ing the country abet­ted the 9/11 ter­ror­ists. Fif­teen of the 19 hi­jack­ers were Saudi Ara­bian citizens.

Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Adel al-Jubeir (inset, op­po­site page), in a Wash­ing­ton visit last month, in­formed U.S. law­mak­ers of the po­ten­tial sale of trea­sury se­cu­ri­ties and other Amer­i­can as­sets, the Times re­ported. The move would be nec­es­sary to pre­vent U.S. courts from pos­si­bly freez­ing the as­sets due to law­suits.

The move could desta­bi­lize

Saudi King Sal­man had for­eign min­is­ter threaten to sell off up to $750 bil­lion in U.S. as­sets if Congress passes bill that would al­low his govern­ment to be held li­able in 9/11 ter­ror law­suits.

Pres­i­dent Obama shakes hands with Saudi King Sal­man last year in the White House. Now, Obama is fight­ing a mea­sure that would al­low WTC vic­tims to sue the Saudis. The move out­rages loved ones of vic­tims who died in the at­tack.

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