In September 2016, Congress overrode an Obama veto on a bill that would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia in connection with the terror attacks. The resulting law — Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism — has now resulted in over 800 9/11 families and 1,500 first responders joining together in one massive lawsuit. Together, the group alleges that the Saudi government “knowingly provided material support and resources to al-Qaeda.”
Previously, Obama’s hesitation over the bill involved concern that any litigation would damage relations between the U.S. and a Middle Eastern ally. Further, Obama feared that foreign governments would retaliate with their own lawsuits while accusing a U.S. citizen or group (accurately or not) of terrorism. However, Congress’s near-unanimous vote showed their desire to let families have their day in court. The law has allowed first responders and families to seek monetary relief as detailed by NBC New York:
The families accuses Saudi Arabia of raising and providing money to al-Qaeda for terrorist activities, including terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, safe houses, weapons and false passport and travel documents, according to the lawsuit.
The families are seeking monetary damages, with separate awards for each plaintiff plus interest, costs, punitive damages and other damages and fees.
This lawsuit has followed years of U.S. intelligence findings and disclosures that were gathered up and released last year in the declassified “28 Pages” report. This yielded loads of information (some of it not entirely new, much of it redacted) about persons of interest who received enormous funding from Saudi elites, who helped to finance training and living expenses for the hijackers. Further, 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi Arabian.
The new lawsuit was filed by filed by Kreindler & Kreindler out of New York, and although the amount of sought-after damages has not been revealed, the lawsuit is sure to cause ripples. You can see the lawsuit papers, which were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, here.
(Via NBC New York)