New evidence in a 9/11 lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia alleges the kingdom’s embassy in Washington, DC may have funded a test run for the deadly attacks in 2001, according to a US newspaper report.
The evidence was submitted as part of a class action lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia, as per reported on Saturday.
It alleges the embassy paid for two Saudi nationals to fly from Phoenix to Washington two years before planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and slammed into a field in Pennsylvania as part of a “dry run” for the attacks.
Saudi Arabia has always denied any involvement in September 11, 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The victims’ lawyers, however, have said the evidence suggests “a pattern of both financial and operational support” for the 9/11 conspiracy from official Saudi sources.
Waleed Nassar, an international disputes attorney who represents two Saudi charities that are defendants in 9/11 litigation alongside Saudi Arabia, said “the evidence, along with much of what has been submitted, is innuendo and circumstantial”.
“The plaintiff’s burden is to show something more direct and that’s really the only hope they have to have Saudi Arabia remain in the litigation,” Nassar said.
The story cites FBI documents in the complaint alleging Saudi students Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi were in fact members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents in the US”, and participated in the conspiracy.
he FBI confirmed the men’s airline tickets were paid for by the Saudi embassy in Washington.
Bill Law, a journalist who specialises in Gulf affairs, said at this stage the claims are “only an allegation”.
He added based on the case, he believes “there are certain pointers that would suggest that there was not, perhaps direct Saudi government involvement, but there were people who were close to, perhaps the ruling family, people who were in different government departments who may have facilitated some of the early ‘dry runs’ … of what then became the horrific 9/11 attack”.
Saudi Arabia has long denied any involvement in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and marked the beginning of the US’ “war on terrorism”