Legal documents claim Saudi funded dry run' for 9/11: Report
Boston Star - Monday 11th September, 2017
Evidence was submitted in an ongoing lawsuit against the Saudi government
It claims that two Saudi nationals and government employees tested flight deck security on an internal flight
The plane was forced to land, and they were arrested by the FBI only to be released without charges
WASHINGTON, U.S. - Shocking evidence has reportedly been submitted in an ongoing lawsuit against the Saudi government that claims the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington DC may have funded a “dry run” of the 9/11 attacks.
According to the legal documents, first revealed by the New York Post, the embassy might have used two of its employees, posing as students in the U.S., for the so-called dry run two years before the attack.
The documents claim that the two Saudi nationals were paid to take a flight from Phoenix to Washington and test out flight deck security before 9/11.
The men had reportedly tried multiple times to gain access to the cockpit of an America West flight to Washington in 1999.
However, when they actually conducted the dry run, the plane was forced to land, and the men were arrested by the FBI.
They were subsequently released and no charges were brought against them.
In 2001, a dozen hijackers flew two planes into the Twin Towers on the day of the attack, killing nearly 3,000 people.
The complaint against Saudi Arabia has been filed on behalf of 1,400 family members of the victims who died in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago.
Sean Carter, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs has said, "We've long asserted that there were longstanding and close relationships between al Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government."
The report in New York Post stated that the class action lawsuit argued that “a pattern of both financial and operational support” from the Saudi government helped the hijackers in the months before the attacks.
Further, other documents submitted as evidence include FBI documents that claim the two Saudi nationals who came to the U.S., identified as Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi, were in fact members of “the Kingdom's network of agents” in the country.
The documents also reportedly claim that the men trained in Afghanistan with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives that participated in the attacks.
The report pointed out that Qudhaeein was allegedly employed at the Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and Shalawi was a “longtime employee of the Saudi government” in Washington DC.
Documents state that in November 1999, the men boarded an America West flight to Washington, and tried to access the cockpit several times, asking the flight attendants “technical questions” and making the staff “suspicious.”
According to a summary of the FBI case files, Qudhaeein had asked staff where the bathroom was and was pointed in the right direction; instead he tried to enter the cockpit. The pilots made an emergency landing in Ohio and the two men were released after an initial interrogation from the FBI.
However, later the FBI discovered that a suspect in a counterterrorism investigation in Phoenix was driving Shalawi’s car and the bureau opened a counterterrorism case on Shalawi.
Then, in November 2000, the FBI received reporting that Shalawi trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan and had received explosives training to perform attacks on American targets.
The bureau also suspected Qudhaeein was a Saudi intelligence agent, based on his frequent contact with Saudi officials.
According to Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed in 9/11, their plane tickets were reportedly paid for by the Saudi Embassy, a claim confirmed by the FBI.
She said, “The dry run reveals more of the fingerprints of the Saudi government. These guys were Saudi government employees for years and were paid by the Saudi government. In fact, the Saudi Embassy paid for their plane tickets for the dry run.”
The reports also specify that both the men had attended a symposium in Washington that was organised by the Saudi embassy in association with the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America.
Before being shut down for terrorist ties, the institute had employed late al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as a lecturer.
He was the man who later helped the hijackers to get housing and ID when they arrived in early 2000.
According to details revealed in the report, the Saudi nationals lived in Arizona and had frequent communication with with a Saudi hijacker pilot and a senior al Qaeda leader from Saudi now incarcerated at Gitmo.
It is further claimed that at least one tried to re-enter the U.S. a month before the attacks as a possible muscle hijacker but was denied admission because he appeared on a terrorist watch list.
Carter said in his statement that the allegations in the class action lawsuit were based on almost “5,000 pages of evidence submitted of record and incorporated by reference into the complaint.”
He said, they include “every FBI report that we have been able to obtain,” though hundreds of thousands of pages of government documents related to Saudi terror funding remain secret.
It was revealed earlier that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.
For years now, the Saudi government has denied any links to the terrorists and last month, lawyers representing Saudi Arabia filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit
Last September, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was voted into law by Congress, despite a veto from former President Barack Obama and lobbying from the Saudi government.
The law allows survivors and relatives of victims to sue foreign governments in U.S. federal courts.
Based on this, the case could go to trial as a Manhattan federal judge has asked the 9/11 plaintiffs, represented by lead law firm Cozen O’Connor, to respond to the motion by November.
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