Printer Friendly

ARAB-US RELATIONS - Aug. 15 - Families Of Sept. 11 Victims Sue Saudis.

Families of 600 people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks file suit in a Washington district court against three Saudi princes, seven banks, the government of Sudan and some international charities, accusing them of financially sponsoring Al Qaida terrorist network and its leader Osama Bin Laden. Seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, the families assert in the lawsuit that "terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida network cannot plan, train and act on a massive scale without significant financial power, co-ordination and backing. By taking vigorous legal action against the financial sponsors of terror, the plaintiffs will force the sponsors of terror into the light and subject them to the rule of law".

Matt Sellitto, whose son Matthew was a 23-year-old broker at Cantor Fitzgerald when he died in the World Trade Centre, said: "We have to stop the terrorists, and one of the surest ways of stopping them is stopping their access to money. I really believe if we didn't do this, there would be something wrong with us. My son was murdered because he was living the American dream. We have to take every means we can to stop this thing". (The lawsuit renews the sensitive question of sponsorship of terror by the Saudis that only recently caused friction between Washington and Riyadh. In a controversial briefing to a Pentagon advisory board in July, Laurent Murawiec, a Rand analyst, contended that "the Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader".

Saudi Arabia was described as an enemy of Washington - see last week's Recorder. Pentagon and Bush administration officials quickly distanced themselves from the briefing, insisting the government did not share that view of the Saudis. In seeking damages for the wrongful deaths of people who died on Sept. 11, the families are following a strategy one of their lawyers used before against the Libyan government. Allan Gerson, who also represents relatives of passengers who died on Pan Am 103, the aircraft downed in 1988 by terrorists over Lockerbie, Scotland, is in negotiations with Tripoli. They have tentatively agreed to pay $2.7 bn for Libya's role in the 1988 bombing). Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not return telephone calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Input Solutions
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Aug 17, 2002
Previous Article:ARABS-ISRAEL - Aug. 16 - Army Destroys 2 Homes In West Bank.
Next Article:AFGHANISTAN - Aug. 15 - Karzai Praises Fahim.

Related Articles
IRAN - June 22 - Tehran Rejects US Charge On Khobar Bomb.
SAUDI ARABIA - Sept. 19 - Afghanistan Ties Severed.
ARAB-US RELATIONS - April 17 - Bush Challenges Arab Allies On Terror.
SAUDI ARABIA - Aug. 19 - US Links Reconsidered After Lawsuit.
LIBYA - Co-operation In Return For Int'l Rehabilitation.
'Libyan Plot' To Kill Abdullah.
SYRIA - US Pressures On Damascus.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters