Statement of September 11th Advocates regarding Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Motion to Dismiss

On the eve of the 9/11 Families’ arrival to the Southern District of New York (ever mindful that the courtroom is located a scant ½ mile from Ground Zero), in order to answer the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Motion to Dismiss, we are heartened and hopeful to proceed on our 17-year path of justice to hold the alleged murderers of our husbands accountable in a court of law.

First and foremost, in anticipation of the Saudis hackneyed defense that the 9/11 Commission found no evidence implicating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks, as former 9/11 Commission Family Steering Committee members who fought for and oversaw the 9/11 Commission’s progress, we can unequivocally state that the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report did NOT in any way exonerate the Saudis.

In fact, regarding the alleged Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission wrote an entire supplemental monograph on Terrorist Funding entitled, 9/11 Commission Monograph on Terrorist Funding.

Notably, the Saudis are mentioned nearly 450 times in this 155-page 9/11 Terrorist Funding report. Parenthetically, the UAE is only mentioned approximately 86 times; Pakistan is mentioned 25 times; Iraq is mentioned 3 times; and, the Republic of Iran, is not mentioned at all.

In short, anyone who’s taken the time to read the 9/11 Commission Monograph on Terrorist Funding for its probative and evidentiary value, will find that there’s plenty of “there, there” regarding the alleged Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks.

Nevertheless, should the information provided in the 9/11 Commission Monograph on Terrorist Funding not be sufficient evidence to support the allegation that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a role in the 9/11 attacks, the declassified 28 Pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress, also provides a wealth of information regarding the alleged Saudi logistical and financial role in the 9/11 attacks.

And, if reading the 9/11 Commission Monograph on Terrorist Funding, and the 28 Pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress aren’t enough evidence to support the allegation that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a role in the 9/11 attacks, then, perhaps, you can simply listen to the words of the 9/11 Commissioners, themselves:

Contrary to the view advocated by the Kingdom, the 9/11 Commission did not exonerate Saudi Arabia of culpability for the events of September 11th, 2001 or the financing of al Qaeda in the years leading up to the September 11th attacks.”  Former 9/11 Commissioner, John Lehman.

We certainly didn’t pursue the entire line of inquiry in regard to Saudi Arabia. As far as I’m concerned, we do not have the whole truth. As an example, the Saudi government and its lawyers repeatedly assert that the 9/11 Commission on which I served concluded that it and the royal family had nothing to do with 9/11. That is just untrue.” Former U.S. Senator and 9/11 Commissioner, Bob Kerrey.

We certainly did not exonerate the Saudis…That’s why we need to continue to get to the bottom of this.” Former Congressman Tim Roemer who served on the Congressional Joint Inquiry, the 9/11 Commission, and The 9/11 Commission Review Panel.

“Clearly, the central moving figures in the 9/11 scandal were Saudi, and clearly that wasn’t a coincidence,” he said. “The fact that there is a particularly militant and extremely conservative form of Islam that is, in effect, the state religion of Saudi Arabia – well, there has always been tension between the United States and Saudi Arabia over that.” Former U.S. Senator and 9/11 Commissioner, Slade Gorton.

“Among the areas warranting further investigation was the relationship between the hijackers of Saudi Arabian national origin and certain other Saudi individuals and entities—particularly, whether knowing assistance, aid or comfort was provided to the hijackers while they were in the United States, and, if so, whether any official representative or entity related to the government of Saudi Arabia either authorized or knew of the provision of any such assistance, aid or comfort.” Former 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste.

Notably, former 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean served as Director of Amerada Hess, an oil company that formed a joint venture with Delta Oil in 1998. Delta Oil had a financial backer by the name of Khalid bin Mafouz. Bin Mafouz was allegedly implicated in the financing of al Qaeda through the connections put forth in the infamous Golden Chain documents.

Former 9/11 Chairman Lee Hamilton was appointed to the Board of BAE systems in 2004. BAE systems was implicated in the al-Yamamah arms deal in 2007 wherein BAE was accused of paying $1billion pound sterling to Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Former 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick is a partner and attorney at WilmerHale. WilmerHale has among its clients Prince Mohamed al Faisal al Saud—who was once a defendant in the 9/11 Families case against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Former 9/11 Commissioner Fred Fielding, President Ronald Reagan’s White House Counsel, approved of a $1million payment to Nancy Reagan by Saudi King Fahd in the 1980’s. The payment was allegedly arranged by Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Moreover, for a defendant who spent millions of dollars in hiring more than 20 high-powered and influential Washington D.C. lobbying firms to fight for years against the 9/11 anti-terrorism legislation, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act), it is quite preposterous for that same defendant, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to now sustain that JASTA does not apply in this case. Even by Saudi Royal spending standards, that’s an awful lot of money, time, and energy thrown around on legislation that is now deemed by them to be irrelevant and unfit.

It has been nearly two decades since the murder of our husbands and 3,000 others on the morning of September 11th 2001. No American family should ever have to wait this long to receive justice for the murder of someone they loved on U.S. soil by terrorists.

We very much look forward to the Honorable Judge George Daniels rejecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Motion to Dismiss so that the 9/11 Families can finally receive our long-overdue and painstakingly-awaited day in court and the world can bear witness to the facts surrounding the murder of our loved ones.

September 11th Advocates

Kristen Breitweiser
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken

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