The terrorist attacks perpetrated in New York City 16 years ago always had a major suspect behind Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: Saudi Arabia. Although there hasn’t been substantial evidence that links the Muslim Kingdom to the most terrible terrorist attack in the history of the United States, new documents revealed for the first time Riyadh’s direct involvement in this tragic event.
Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Muslim Kingdom revealed that its embassy in Washington may have funded a “dry run” for the hijackings carried out by a couple of Saudi employees. Naturally, this information reinforces the claim that employees and agents of the Saudi Arabian government directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters
The amended complaint filed on behalf of the families of more than 1,300 victims who died in the terrorist attacks in 2001, alleges that two years before the airliner attacks, the Saudi Embassy paid for two Saudi nationals, living undercover in America as students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington. Apparently, this action was made “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs informed that court filing provides new details that paint a concerning pattern of both financial and operational support for the 9/11 conspiracy from official Saudi sources. Apparently, the Muslim Kingdom may have been directly involved in underwriting the attacks from the earliest stages, including testing cockpit security.
Regarding this whole case, lead attorney for the 9/11 plaintiffs, Sean Carter, said that this information represents clear evidence of the longstanding and close relationship between Al-Qaeda and the religious elements of the Saudi government.
Lawyers representing the Muslim Kingdom filed a motion last month to dismiss the lawsuit, which may finally be headed toward trial now that Congress has cleared diplomatic-immunity hurdles. Apparently, a Manhattan federal judge has asked the 9/11 plaintiffs represented by lead law firm Cozen O’Connor, to respond to the motion in two months.
Citing documents from the FBI, the complaint alleges that the Saudi students called Hamdan al-Shalawi and Mohammed al-Qudhaeein were members of the “Kingdom’s network of agents in the US,” and had a major role in the terrorist conspiracy
The Saudi students had trained at Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan at the same time some of the hijackers were there. And while living in the state of Arizona, both al-Qudhaeein and al-Shalawi had regular contact with a senior Al-Qaeda leader from Saudi now incarcerated at Guantanamo prison, and a Saudi hijacker.
At least one of them tried to re-enter America a month before the terrorist attacks as a possible muscle hijacker. However, his admission was denied since he appeared on a terrorist watch list, being unqualified for the operation.
Apparently, both students worked for and received money from the Saudi government, with Quadhaeein employed at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, while his partner was also a longtime employee of the Muslim Kingdom. According to the filings, both of them were in “frequent contact” with Saudi officials while they were in the country.
As noted on a summary of the FBI case files, during an America West flight to Washington in November 1999, the students were reported to have tried gain access to the cockpit of the plane multiple times, in an attempt to test flight-deck security in advance of the hijackings.
Apparently, the pilots were so scared by the Saudi students’ behavior that they made an emergency landing in Ohio. On the ground there, authorities handcuffed Qudhaeein and Shalawi and took them into custody. Though the Bureau later questioned the students, it decided not to pursue prosecution.
However, soon after they discovered that a suspect in a counterterrorism investigation in Phoenix was driving Shalawi’s vehicle, the FBI opened a counterterrorism case on him. Then, just a year later, the Bureau received reporting that he trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan and had received explosives training to perform terrorist attacks on American targets.
Moreover, investigators found out that the Saudi students traveled to Washington in order to attend a symposium hosted by the Saudi Embassy in collaboration with the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA,) which was chaired by the Saudi ambassador in the country.
In fact, this Institute employed the late Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as a lecture soon before being shut down for terrorist ties. According to the FBI, this man helped some of the hijackers to obtain housing and IDs.
In addition, the Bureau confirmed that the student’s airline tickets for the pre-9/11 dry run were paid for by the Saudi Embassy, which clearly establishes a direct link between the Muslim Kingdom and the attack.
— Rep. Steven Smith (@RepStevenSmith) September 11, 2017
The 9/11 complaint states that after the plane incident in 1999, both Saudi students held posts as Saudi government employees at the Iman Muhammed in the parent institution of IIASA, which represents “a further indication of their longstanding ties to the Saudi government.”
Carter explained that these allegations against the Saudi government are based on “nearly 5,000 pages of evidence submitted of record and incorporated by reference into the complaint,” which includes “every FBI report that we have been able to obtain.”
So far, the Muslim Kingdom hasn’t offered any kind of response regarding this issue.