Families of 9-11 victims sue Saudi Arabia

More than 850 family members of victims of the 9-11 attacks filed a lawsuit (PDF) March 20 against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, alleging that the Saudi state provided support to al-Qaeda in multiple ways. First, it alleges that Saudi Arabian charities ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, working hand-in-hand with Osama bin Laden. The suit also claims that the Saudi government directly aided al-Qaeda by providing passports and transportation across the globe. Finally, the suit contends that certain Saudi officials worked with the hijackers in the US for the 18 months leading up to the attacks. The suit seeks unspecified damages, with the primary motive to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the attacks.

This legal challenge only became available after Congress passed the Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which provided the legal recourse to sue foreign governments over the 9-11 attacks. The law was quickly condemned by Saudi Arabia after its passage last year.

From Jurist, March 21. Used with permission.

  1. 9-11 lawsuit against Saudi Arabia moves forward

    A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 28 denied Saudi Arabia's motion to dismiss a lawsuit for involvement in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Victims and families of victims originally brought suit against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission for Relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC). The claim against Saudi Arabia alleged responsibility for its agents who "directly and knowingly assisted the hijackers and plotters who carried out the attacks." The claim against the SHC was that charity organizations under its control gave "financial and operational support" to al Qaeda, allowing the group to conduct the attacks. (Jurist)

  2. Saudi officials to testify on 9-11 attacks

    A US federal judge issued a court order on Sept. 10 addressed to the Saudi government, requiring access to 24 current and former Saudi officials to provide statements about their potential knowledge of relevant information regarding the 9-11 attacks. Among those to appear before the court is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the US, who has been very close to decision-making circles in Washington. (MEE)