DECEMBER 30, 2013
A federal appeals court has delivered yet another blow to the U.S. government’s effort to cover up a Saudi connection in the 2001 terrorist attacks, ruling that the Arab nation can be a defendant in a lawsuit filed by thousands of 9/11 victims and their families.
Issued this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the decision involves a high-profile case filed a decade ago by 9/11 victims who claim Saudi Arabia financed Al Qaeda before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A federal judge in New York decided that, as a foreign state, Saudi Arabia was immune and could not be named as a defendant under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. This spared it the possibility of having to dole out billions in civil damages.
Citing an “error of law,” the appellate court restored the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a defendant, including the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a government agency that 9/11 survivors claim delivered tens of millions of dollars to terrorists worldwide. There are exceptions to the foreign state immunity, the appeals court writes in its decision, including a “terrorism exception.”
The ruling comes on the heels of damaging information revealed by a pair of legislators—one Republican, one Democrat—who recently viewed a redacted chunk of a congressional report that confirms foreign state involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The suspiciously redacted pages of Congress’s 9/11 report left the lawmakers, North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones and Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch, “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign involvement in the plot.
Americans have been told that Al Qaeda acted alone on September 11, 2001 and that there were no official state sponsors. In fact, the George W. Bush administration blacked out dozens of pages in the congressional investigative report on 9/11 that dealt with specific sources of foreign support for the 19 hijackers, most of whom were Saudi nationals. Those are the pages that were recently viewed by Congressmen Jones and Lynch.
Judicial Watch has investigated the 9/11 Saudi connection and years ago obtained shocking documents from the FBI detailing how well-connected Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, left the U.S. on specially chartered flights while most air traffic was still grounded. In all, 160 subjects of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including but not limited to members of the House of Saud and/or members of the bin Laden family fled the U.S. between September 11, 2001 and September 15, 2001.
The records uncovered by JW show that two prominent Saudi families that fled the U.S. following 9/11 got personal airport escorts from the FBI and that authorities let other Saudis leave the country without first interviewing them. The secret Saudi flights left from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other major U.S. cities. An unidentified prince in Las Vegas even thanked the FBI for its assistance, according to one internal report obtained by JW. Incredibly, the FBI returned to the Las Vegas hotels with subpoenas days after the Saudi flights departed to gather information on the royal guests, the records show. Read more about this in JW’s New York Times Best Seller “Corruption Chronicles.”
Besides the secret Saudi flights, Judicial Watch has ongoing investigations related to the sophisticated 9/11 plot. Earlier this year JW obtained documents from the FBI that show strong ties between Anwar al Aulaqi, the U.S.-born terrorist assassinated in 2011 by a U.S. drone in Yemen, and two of the 9/11 hijackers who attacked the Pentagon. In the documents the FBI describes al Aulaqi as “The Spiritual Leader of the Hijackers.”
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