Hundreds of 9/11 families sued Saudi Arabia in federal court Monday, accusing the oil-rich Middle Eastern country of funding al-Qaida’s attack on the World Trade Center and the nation’s officials of providing Osama bin Laden and his terrorists “cover.”
The personal injury and wrongful death suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, portrays Saudi Arabia as an essential player in funding al-Qaida from start to finish in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Through several Saudi government-controlled nonprofits — ostensibly raising money for charity — senior Saudi officials and al-Qaida operatives instead sent millions of dollars through a tangled web of transfer offices and private businesses with al-Qaida terrorists as final recipients, the suit said.
In the Sept. 11 attacks, Saudi Arabia used “state-run” groups to funnel money to the terrorist organization and directed government employees, including diplomats, to help the 19 hijackers once they landed in the United States, according to the complaint. Saudi Arabia funded safe houses for the hijackers, supplied them with bogus travel documents, weapons, cash and equipment — “all of which enabled al-Qaida to conduct the September 11th Attacks,” the complaint stated.
“We’re finally going to get our day in court,” said retired FDNY fire chief James Riches of Brooklyn.
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