ARAB-US RELATIONS - Aug. 15 - Families Of Sept. 11 Victims Sue Saudis.
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.
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Aug 17, 2002|
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