Families of 9/11 victims filed suit in Manhattan against Saudi Arabia Monday, claiming the Arab country knowingly facilitated the devastating terror attacks.
The consolidated action was filed in federal court on behalf of 2,500 spouses, children, parents and siblings of those who died when 19 al Qaeda insurgents hijacked four airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to retake control from the hijackers.
In total 2,977 innocent victims were killed.
“It’s become much clearer for the American public that the Saudi government and Saudi officials exhibited a pattern of support for al Qaeda, and that 9/11 would not have been possible without their support,” said attorney Andrew Maloney, whose firm is one of the five behind the suit.
The papers claim Saudi Arabia raised and laundered money to support al Qaeda activities, funded terrorist training camps “where al Qaeda taught their hijackers the skills they used to carry out the Sept. 11 attacks,” and actively supported al Qaeda in its final preparations.
The suit follows a congressional override of then-President Barack Obama’s veto in September, which enacted a law allowing an exception to the legal principle of sovereign immunity in cases of terrorism on US soil.
While the first suits against Saudi Arabia were filed a month later, this is the first consolidated action filed against the Middle Eastern kingdom.
“We are grateful to our members of Congress for not only passing [the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ACT], but also overriding the veto of former President Obama,” Maloney said.
“We would hope to continue to enjoy the support of President Trump, and we hope he meant what he said,” the attorney added, referencing Trump’s September 2016 statement that Obama’s veto was “one of the low points” of his presidency.
Neither the Saudi Arabian embassies in New York or in Washington, DC returned messages.