Tag Archives: 9/11 report’s classified 28 pages

Congress releases classified 28 pages of 9/11 Report: It's Saudi Arabia

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 17:58:05 +0000

eowyn2

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited and much-speculated-about 28 pages from the report by the congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. 9/11 was the worst attack on U.S. soil in U.S. history, second only to the 1941 Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Until yesterday, those 28 pages had been classified and, we were told, withheld from the American people by both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations. But it turns out all along it was within the power of Congress to make public those 28 pages! No wonder politicians are held in such low regard by the American people.

The released 28 pages still contain a number of redactions, that appear to be the names of individuals and of Saudi businesses. The pages also make clear that they are based on FBI and CIA documents that the Joint Inquiry had not itself investigated, using the lame excuse that it did not have the resources to conduct such an investigation, which of course is horse manure.

As rumored, the 28 pages indeed implicate Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but not of other rumored countries/governments, such as Israel. The Saudi government has issued a denial, but the 28 pages again and again point to Saudi government officials as being associated and met with, and financially supporting the 9/11 hijackers, including:

  • Former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar and his wife; “blind” Shaykh al-Thumairy; and Abdullah Bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden.
  • Saudi intelligence officers Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassnan.
  • Saudi companies and mosques in the U.S. with connections to the Saudi government,

The 28 pages are in PDF format that does not enable copy-and-paste. I have therefore painstakingly transcribed the bulk of the pages into text (see below). I emboldened and colored red certain words, for emphasis. To read the 28 pages in PDF, go here.

Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

The 9/11 devil face is that of Saudi Arabia. Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

From the formerly-classified 28 pages:

PART FOUR–FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS

Finding: While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected with the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry’s review confirmed that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of which has yet to be independently verified, indicating that individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups. The FBI and CIA have informed the Joint Inquiry that, since the September 11 attacks, they are treating the Saudi issue seriously, but both still have only a limited understanding of the Saudi Government’s ties to terrorist elements. In their testimony, neither CIA nor FBI witnesses were able to identify definitely the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature. The FBI’s Washington Field Office created a squad devoted to [redacted]. Only recently and at least in part due to the Joint Inquiry’s focus on this issue, did the FBI and CIA establish a working group to address the Saudi issue. In the view of the Joint Inquiry, this gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is unacceptable, given the magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to U.S. national security. The Intelligence Community needs to address this area of concern as aggressively and quickly as possible.

Discussion: One reason for the limited understanding is that it was only after September 11 that the U.S. Government began to aggressively investigate this issue. Prior to September 11, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American “ally.” A representative of the FBI [redacted] testified that, prior to September 11, 2001, the FBI received “no reporting from any member of the Intelligence Community” that there was a [redacted] presence in the United States.

According to various FBI documents and at least one CIA memorandum, some of the September 11 hijackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. While the Joint Inquiry uncovered this material during the course of its review of FBI and CIA documents, it did not attempt to investigate and assess the accuracy and significance of this information independently, recognizing that such a task would be beyond the scope of this Joint Inquiry. Instead, the Joint Inquiry referred a detailed compilation of information uncovered by the Inquiry in documents and interviews to the FBI and CIA for further investigation by the Intelligence Community and, if appropriate, law enforcement agencies. A brief summary of the available information regarding some of these individuals is illustrative for purposes of this report:

  • Omar al-Bayoumi. The FBI has received numerous reports from individuals in the Muslim community, dating back to 1999, alleging that al-Bayoumi may be a Saudi intelligence officer. FBI files suggest that al-Bayoumi provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Deigo in February 2000. Al-Bayoumi met the hijackers in a public place shorting after his meeting with an individual at the Saudi consulate and there are indications in the files that his encounter with the hijackers may not have been accidental. During this same time-frame, al-Bayoumi had extensive contact with Saudi Government establishments in the United States and received financial support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense. According to the FBI files, [redacted] at the company said that al-Bayoumi received a monthly salary even though he had been there on only one occasion. This support increased substantially in April 2000, two months after the hijackers arrived in San Diego, decreased slightly in December 2000, and stayed at the same level until August 2001. That company reportedly had ties with Usami Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida. In addition, the FBI determined that al-Bayoumi was in contact with several individuals under FBI investigation and with the Holy Land Foundation, which has been under investigation as a fundraising front for Hamas.
  • Osama Bassnan. Bassnan may have been in contact with al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi during their time in San Diego. Bassnan was a close associate of al-Bayoumi and Omar Bakarbashat, another one of the hijackers’ close associates. He also lived across the street from the hijackers, and made a comment to an FBI asset that he did more than al-Bayoumi did for the hijackers. According to an FBI document, Bassnan told another individual that he met al-Hazmi through al-Bayoumi and later that he met two of the hijackers through al-Bayoumi. He also told the asset that al-Bayoumi was arrested because he knew al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi very well. The document goes on to state that Bassnan and al-Bayoumi have been “close to each other for a long time.” Bassnan has many ties to the Saudi Government, including past employment by the Saudi Arabian Education Mission, referred to in FBI documents as [redacted]. The FBI also received reports from individuals in the Muslim community alleging that Bassnan may be a Saudi intelligence officer. According to a CIA memo, Bassnan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials. He and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and his wife. A CIA report also indicates that Bassnan traveled to Houston in 2002 and met with an individual who was [redacted]. The report states that during that trip a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash. FBI information indicates that Bassnan is an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Laden, and has been connected to the Eritrean Islamic Jihad and the Blind Shaykh;
  • Shaykh al-Thumairy. According to FBI documents and a CIA memorandum, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar may have been in contact with Shaykh al-Thumairy, an accredited diplomat in the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the “imams” at the King Fahad mosque in Culver City, California. Also according to FBI documents, the mosque was built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque is reportedly attended by members of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and is widely recognized for its anti-Western views;
  • Saleb al-Hussayen. In September 2001, Saleb al-Hussayen, reportedly a Saudi Interior Ministry official stayed in the same hotel in Herndon, Virginia where al-Hazmi was staying. While al-Hussayen claimed after September 11 not to know the hijackers, FBI agents believed he was being deceptive. He was able to depart the United States despite FBI efforts to locate and re-interview him; and
  • Abdullah Bin Laden. Abdullah Bin Laden claims to work for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. as an administrative officer. He is identified by the FBI as Usama Bin Laden’s half brother. He is a close friend of Mohammed Quadir-Harunani, a possible associate of [9/11 hijackers] Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi prior to September 11, 2001.

The Joint Inquiry also found other indications that individuals connected to the Saudi Government have ties to terrorist networks, including:

  • The CIA and FBI have identifed the Ton Tamiyah Mosque in Culver City as a site of extremist-related activity. Several subjects of FBI investigation prior to September 11 had close connections to the mosque and are believed to have laundered money through this mosque to non-profit organizations overseas affiliated with Usama Bin Laden. In an interview, an FBI agent said he believed that Saudi Government money was being laundered through the mosque;
  • Another Saudi national with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, [redacted], is the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations and reportedly was checking security at the United States’ southwest border in 1999 and discussing the possibility of infiltrating individuals into the United States;
  • According to FBI documents, several of the phone numbers found in the phone book of Abu Zubaida, a senior al-Qa’ida operative captured in Pakistan in March 2002, could be linked, at least indirectly, to the telephone numbers in the United States. One of those U.S. numbers is subscribed to by the ASPCOL Corporation, which is located in Aspen, Colorado, and manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar. The FBI noted that ASPCOL has an unlisted telephone number. A November 18, 2002 FBI response to the Joint Inquiry states that “CIA traces have revealed no direct links between numbers found in Zubaida’s phone book and numbers in the United States.”
  • According to an FBI document, the telephone number of a body guard at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, who some have alleged may be a [redacted] — was also found in Abu Zabaida’s possessions; and
  • According to an FBI agent in Phoenix, the FBI suspects Mohammed al-Qudhaeein of being [redacted]. Al-Qudhaeein was involved in a 1999 incident aboard an American West flight, which the FBI’s Phoenix office now suspects may have been a “dry run” to test airline security. During the flight, al-Qudhaeein and his associate asked the flight attendants a variety of suspicious questions; al-Qudhaeein then attempted to enter the cockpit on two occasions. Al-Qudhaeein and his associate were flying to Washington, D.C. to attend a party at the Saudi Embassy, and both claimed their tickets were paid for by the Saudi Embassy. During the course of its investigations, the FBI has discovered that both al-Qudhaeein and the other individual involved in this incident had connections to terrorism.

Finally, the Committees are particularly concerned about the serious nature of allegations contained in a CIA memorandum found by the Joint Inquiry Staff in the files of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. That memorandum, which discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi Government officials, and members of the Saudi Royal Family, was drafted by a CIA officer [redacted], relying primarily on information from FI files. The CIA officer sent it to the CTC to determine whether CIA had additional information. He also provided a copy to the FBI agent responsible for the investigation of one of the individuals discussed in the memorandum. Despite the clear national implications of the memorandum, the FBI agent included the memoradum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI Headquarters. FBI Headquarters, therefore, was unaware of statements in the memorandum until the Joint Inquiry brought the memorandum’s implications to the Bureau’s attention. [redacted]

Possible Saudi Government Connections to Terrorists and Terrorist Groups

While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, from FBI sources, that at least two of these individuals were alleged to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry’s review confirmed that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of which remains speculative and yet to be independently verified, indicating that Saudi Government officials in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups. […]

In their testimony before the Joint Inquiry, neither the CIA nor the FBI was able to definitively identify for these Committees the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is intentional or innocent in nature. Both the FBI and CIA have indicated to the Committees that they are now aggressively pursuing Saudi-related terrorism issues. […]

It should be clear that this Joint Inquiry has made no final determination as to the reliability or sufficiency of the information regarding these issues that we found contained in FBI and CIA documents. It was not the task of this Joint Inquiry to conduct the kind of extensive investigation that would be required to determined [sic] the true significance of any such alleged connections to the Saudi Government. On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a [redacted] dated July 2, 2002, “incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi Government.” On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.

Given the serious national security implications of this information, however, the leadership of the Joint Inquiry is referring the staff’s compilation of relevant information to both the FBI and the CIA for investigative review and appropriate investigative and intelligence action.

~End of transcription~

See also:

~Eowyn

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GOP platform nixes declassifying secret 28 pages of 9/11 report

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 12:12:57 +0000

eowyn2

Here’s more evidence that the Republican Party is rotten to its core.

Remember those 28 pages in the Congressional report on 9/11 which both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have kept “classified,” i.e., secret from the American people?

Conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees, the 838-page report was published in December 2002. The redacted 28 pages, titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters,” begins on Page 395 of the report.

Why are those pages important? Because former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was chairman of the congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 that issued the 9/11 report, said “there is compelling evidence in the 28 pages that one or more foreign governments was involved in assisting some of the hijackers in their preparation for 9/11.” Graham later indicated that by “foreign governments” he was referring to Saudi Arabia. (15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.)

Though classified, members of Congress can read the mysterious 28 pages in a special secure room on Capitol Hill if they get prior permission from the House or Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky), one of 18 co-sponsors of a 2013 House resolution introduced by Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) to declassify the pages, is one of a few to have read the classified 28 pages. Massie was shocked by what the pages reveal. He said:

“I had to stop every couple of pages and just sort of absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything.

Yesterday, July 12, however, the Republican platform committee voted down a plank introduced by Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Maine) calling for the declassification of those 28 pages.

9-11 devil face1

Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

Jerome Corsi reports for WND that in drafting the platform plank, Brakey pointed out that Obama had twice promised 9/11 family members he would release the pages, which could be invaluable in any lawsuit. However, the administration has refused to declassify the pages, even in the face of bipartisan support for their release from former 9/11 commission members and 73 current representatives and senators.

Disappointed by the GOP platform committee’s decision, Brakey said:

“The public has a right to know. It saddens me that, here we are, 15 years later and it sounds like there’s key pieces of information to our understanding of what happened on that day, and the government has been keeping that information from us.”

Donald Trump has pushed for declassifying the 28 pages. He said on Fox News on April 19: “I think I know what it’s going to say. It’s going to be very profound, having to do with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center and the attack. That’s very serious stuff. It’s sort of nice to know who your friends are and perhaps who your enemies are. You’re going to see some very revealing things in those papers.”

A 9/11 jumper

A 9/11 jumper

Here are the members of the 2016 GOP Platform Committee who want to conceal the identity(ies) of the foreign government(s) complicit in the worst terrorist attack on American soil:

  • Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman
  • Bob McDonnell (former governor of Virginia and convicted felon), Chairman. In 2014, McDonnell and his wife were convicted by a federal jury of corruption charges for receiving improper gifts and loans from a Virginia businessman. In 2015, they were sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. On June 27, 2016, Supreme Court unanimously vacated McDonnell’s conviction and remanded the case back to a lower court.
  • Senator John Hoeven (ND), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Co-Chair
  • Chairs of Subcommittees:
    • Jonathan Barnett, Andy Puzder, Jim Bopp, Jane Timken, Mary Dye, Ed Whitfield, Jim Cawley, Rachel Kemp, Tom Luna, Carolyn McLarty, Sam Olens, Donna Cain, Jim Talent
  • Committee Members:
    • Alabama: Jacqueline Curtiss, Cam Ward
    • Alaska: Ric Davidge, Debbie Joslin
    • American Samoa: Salote Schuster, Brandon Smart
    • Arizona: Kip Kempton, Heather Sandstrom
    • Arkansas: Jonathan Barnett, Julie Harris
    • California: Andrew Puzder, Audra Strickland
    • Colorado: Suzanne Sharkey, Guy Short
    • Connecticut: L. Scott Frantz, Themis Klarides
    • Delaware: Ruth Briggs King, John Sigler
    • District of Columbia: Teri Galvez, Edward Newton
    • Florida: Allen Bense, Remedios Diaz
    • Georgia: Sue Everhart, Sam Olens
    • Guam: Arthur Boyd Clark, Telo Taitague
    • Hawaii: Lynne Hansen, Philip Hellreich
    • Idaho: Gayann DeMordaunt, Tom Luna
    • Illinois: Steve Kim, Sharee Langenstein
    • Indiana: James Bopp Jr., Deborah Fleming
    • Iowa: Gopal T.K. Krishna, Kimberly Lehman
    • Kansas: Beverly Caley, Kris Kobach
    • Kentucky: Ed Whitfield, Shirley Wiseman
    • Louisiana: Ambia Baker, Tony Perkins
    • Maine: Linda Bean, Mike Wallace
    • Maryland: Christian Cavey, Kathy Szeliga
    • Massachusetts: Jay Barrows, Rachel Kemp
    • Michigan: Krista Haroutunian, Norm Shinkle
    • Minnesota: Kevin Erickson, Juliette Jordal
    • Mississippi: Lynn Fitch, Delbert Hosemann
    • Missouri: Phyllis Schlafly, Jim Talent
    • Montana: Mark Baker, Tamara Hall
    • Nebraska: Brian Buescher, Darlene Starman
    • Nevada: Cynthia Kennedy, Pat Kerby
    • New Hampshire: David Boutin, Beverly Bruce
    • New Jersey: Aubrey Fenton, Lynda Pagliughi
    • New Mexico: James Damron, Rocky Galassini
    • New York: John Cahill, Adele Malpass
    • North Carolina: Wayne King, Mary Summa
    • North Dakota: Kyle Handegard, Paul Henderson
    • Northern Mariana Islands: Ellsbeth Alepuyo, Juan Diego Blanco
    • Ohio: Clarence Mingo, Jane Timken
    • Oklahoma: Anthony Lauinger, Carolyn McLarty
    • Oregon: Donna Cain, Russ Walker
    • Pennsylvania: Jim Cawley, Joyce Haas
    • Puerto Rico: Jorge San Miguel, Vanessa Viera
    • Rhode Island: Barbara Ann Fenton, Richard Ford
    • South Dakota: Mary Jean Jensen, Dana Randall
    • Tennessee: Marsha Blackburn, Chris Devaney
    • Texas: David Barton, Denise McNamara
    • Utah: Margaret Dayton, Brad Dee
    • Vermont: Rick Cochran, Darcie Johnston
    • Virginia: Chris Stearns, Kathy Terry
    • Virgin Islands: April Newland, Herbert Schoenbohm
    • Washington: Mary Dye, Lew Moore
    • West Virginia: Conrad Lucas II
    • Wisconsin: Daniel Feyen, Susan Lynch
    • Wyoming: Cynthia Cloud, Dan Dockstader

See also:

UPDATE (July 19, 2016):

Three days after the GOP Platform Committee eschewed calling for the declassification of the 9/11 report’s 28 pages, on July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released those pages to the public. See “Congress releases classified 28 pages of 9/11 Report: It’s Saudi Arabia“.

In other words, it was within the power of Congress all along to make public those pages.

~Eowyn

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Saudi Arabia threatens to dump $750 billion in U.S. treasury securities if Congress investigates Saudi role in 9/11

Do you remember my post of January 2, 2015, on how the Obama administration refused to declassify 28 pages of the 9/11 report on foreign governments’ involvement?
In so doing, Obama was continuing what the George W. Bush administration had done, despite the fact that former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) — chairman of the congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, which had issued the 9/11 report — declared that “there is compelling evidence in the 28 pages that one or more foreign governments was involved in assisting some of the hijackers in their preparation for 9/11.” Graham later indicated that by “foreign governments” he was referring to Saudi Arabia. (15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.)
As recently reported by ZeroHedge, in 2013, conservative Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.) revived the push to declassify the 28 pages by sponsoring a House resolution because, as he put it, “the American people deserve the truth. Releasing these pages will enhance our national security, not harm it.” Jones has since become one of the most outspoken opponents of reckless U.S. intervention abroad.
Last May, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined the 28-page fight by introducing the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), but opposed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who instead urged deference to Obama’s judgment on the issue.
Members of Congress can read the still-classified pages in a special secure room on Capitol Hill if they get prior permission from the House or Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), one of 18 co-sponsors of Jones’ resolution, is one of a few to have read the classified 28 pages. Massie was shocked: “I had to stop every couple of pages and just sort of absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything.”
Said to have bankrolled the 9/11 attacks that launched the United States on its War on Terror which has cost thousands of American lives and more than $1.6 trillion, Saudi Arabia is widely reported to be bankrolling Islamic State terrorists throughout the Middle East. None other than Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last September that “I know major Arab allies who fund [ISIS].”
Now that the heat is building for the Obama administration to declassify those mysterious 28 pages in the 9/11 report, the Saudi regime is resorting to outright threat and intimidation.

Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, April 2009.

Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, April 2009.


Mark Mazzetti reports for The New York Times, April 15, 2016, that Saudi Arabia told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the Saudis if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in U.S. courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered his government’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. Those conclusions are contained in 28 suppressed pages of the 9/11 report.
Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of what the plaintiffs charged was Saudi financial support for terrorism. But the families’ efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.
The bi-partisan Senate bill, which passed through the Judiciary Committee in January without dissent, would make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.
Claiming that weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation, the Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon.
Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the bill, said, “It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens.”
Outside economists, however, are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through on their threats, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy.
The dispute comes as bipartisan criticism is growing in Congress about Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, for decades a crucial American ally in the Middle East and half of a partnership that once received little scrutiny from lawmakers. But that alliance has frayed in recent years as the White House has tried to thaw ties with Iran — Saudi Arabia’s bitter enemy— in the midst of recriminations between American and Saudi officials about the role that both countries should play in the stability of the Middle East. Last week, two senators introduced a resolution that would put restrictions on U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which have expanded during the Obama administration.
~Eowyn

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