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Saudi Arabia Was Implicated in 9/11, Is Not Exempt from Lawsuit, U.S. Supreme Court Is Told

May 30, 2014 (EIRNS)—The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not immune from liability for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, since there is detailed evidence in the record showing its material support for, and assistance to the hijackers, asserts a legal brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on May 21.

The brief was filed in opposition to the appeal filed by the Kingdom, following the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit last December, reinstating the Kingdom and related Saudi "charities," as defendants in a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by 9/11 victims and their families, as well as insurance companies seeking recovery for damages paid.

The Obama Administration has not yet indicated whether it will intervene on behalf of the Saudis, as it did in the lower courts.

In their brief, the plaintiffs mock the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as "a supposed ‘ally’ of the United States," and they state:

"The Kingdom is alleged to have provided material support and assistance through its officials and agents to al-Qaeda, including assistance that enabled it to develop the network and capabilities that would ultimately carry out the September 11th attacks. It allegedly did so through: (a) individual government agents operating in the United States and Germany in support of the September 11th hijackers; (b) its charities that worked closely with al-Qaeda for years leading up to the attacks, including in certain cases through actions undertaken in the United States....

"Omar Al Bayoumi, a Saudi intelligence officer, and Fahad Al Thumairy, a Saudi diplomat from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs ... allegedly assisted two of the September 11th hijackers directly from within the United States. This support included renting an apartment for two of the hijackers, facilitating their settlement in San Diego during preparation for the attacks, and helping them enroll in flight schools.

"Plaintiffs also alleged that Muhammed Fakihi, the head of the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Embassy in Berlin, assisted members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell that planned and coordinated the September 11th attacks."

In support of their claims, the plaintiffs cite former U.S. Senator Bob Graham’s statement that "he is convinced that there was [a] direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia," and they also note that, following the 9/11 attacks, "senior U.S. counter-terrorism officials described to Congress how Saudi Arabia was the ‘epicenter’ of terrorist financing and how ‘[w]ealthy Saudi financiers and charities have funded terrorist organizations and causes that support terrorism and the ideology that fuels the terrorists agenda.’ Similarly, ‘most of the major elements of Al Qaeda have reported Saudi funding ties, and Saudi funds permeate the world of Islamic charities, supporting entities in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America tied to terrorism.’"

They point out that the Kingdom’s petition for review "repeats that the Kingdom is an important ally of the United States," and add: "Whether the Kingdom and especially SHC [Saudi High Commission] are, in fact, aligned with the United States or were prior to the September 11th attacks is open to serious question," but that even if it were true, this provides no basis for the Supreme Court to review and overturn the appeals court decision reinstating the Kingdom as a defendant in this lawsuit.

The Supreme Court will likely decide by the end of June whether it will accept the case for review