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Families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government

Declassified evidence about the 9/11 attacks point to Saudi Arabia. But will justice be served?

An aerial view shows a small portion of Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center collapsed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Picture by Eric J. Tilford/Zuma Press/PA Images. All rights reserved. The 28-page famous Congressional report has ended in a bill known as JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act). Part of the 2002 investigation report was classified by then US president George W. Bush. However, last year, the Obama administration declassified them. The document showed that some of the hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from individuals who were connected to the Saudi government.

There is an abundance of evidence that leads to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia financing al-Qaeda, financing Osama bin Laden, and financing the charities that also supported Osama bin Laden and the attacks of 9/11. So, they are not entitled to immunity for a terrorist attack on American soil. Moreover, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Why should these pieces of evidence not be debated in court?

The 28 pages show a direct link of money being transferred through the Saudi embassy in Washington DC to two hijackers

The declassified pages offer previously unknown information about the actions of a powerful figure in the Saudi royal family. The document shows further ties between the Saudi government, al-Qaeda, and the hijackers. The 28 pages show a direct link of money being transferred through the Saudi embassy in Washington DC to two hijackers.

JASTA has raised tensions with Saudi Arabia. Over the past several years, Saudis have tried to stop the bill by lobbying, bribery, and threatening US officials. When the bill was introduced, the Saudi government "threatened" to sell up to $750 billion in United States Treasury securities and other U.S. assets if the bill is passed.

Adel al-Jubeir tried to persuade US legislators to reject JASTA by lobbying US official. Jubeir said at a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerr that “we believe JASTA is a grave danger to the international system and surely to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

An official at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the state-run Saudi Press Agency on September 29 that the U.S. Congress must correct the 9/11 bill to avoid “serious unintended consequences,” adding that the law is of “great concern” to the Kingdom.

Tracing the flow of money is one crucial way of getting to the truth

Over the past year, I made extensive research in order to find those Saudi companies based in the US attempting to foil JASTA. I found 27 companies and organizations located in the US which spent billions of dollars to lobby Congress and federal agencies, FBI and CIA officials, and many influential figures seeking to end US lawsuit against the Saudi government over 9/11 attacks. This list can be found at the bottom of this article.

The Obama administration as well as the Trump administration made $480 billion deals with the Saudi government. These deals are the most powerful Saudi means to block JASTA.

Though the Saudi government tried to persuade US official and influential figures to block the lawsuit, JASTA paves the way for families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for its alleged role in the attacks.

It is true that Saudi Arabia needs US support for its national and regional security, however, the Saudi petrodollars paid to consecutive US administrations should not result in ignoring the rights of American citizens.

We do not know everything surrounding the 9/11 attacks, so why do US officials keep blocking the facts? Why does Saudi Arabia spend millions and millions of dollars trying to block this law suit? If the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide, they should welcome an opportunity to tell their side of the story in a courtroom. That is what American citizens are asking for.

It is extremely important for the families of the victims of 9/11 to have accountability and justice for the murder of their loved ones but it is also extremely important for US national security going forward to know the facts.

The United States cannot protect itself if it cannot face who the real enemy is, who finances al-Qaeda, and who financed these terrorist attacks. Tracing the flow of money is one crucial way of getting to the truth, so let’s get it out to the courtroom.

Bellow is the list of the 27 companies and organizations:

Aramco Service Company (AASC)

Contract date: 2016/11/14

Contractor: Saudi Government

Type of service: communications and public relations

Nazar Group

Contract date: 2016/11/09

Contractor: Saudi embassy

Type of service: Political advisor to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia

Hill+Noltown Group

Contract date: 2017/05/18

Contractor: Saudi government

Type of service: Political counseling

International Trade Institute

Contract date: 2011/04/14

Contractor: Saudi Commercial Board

Type of service: Economics and Investment Consulting

Burke, Martha, Ann

Contract Date: 2017/06/06

Contractor: Saudi Foreign Ministry

Type of service: Expanding War in Yemen

Subcontracting with Brownstein Group

Glover Park Group

Contract date: 2016/09/20

Contractor: Saudi government

Type of service: Supporting Saudi Arabia against JASTA

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Contract date: 2016/09/22

Contractor: Saudi Foreign Ministry

Type of service: The company provided two reports in 60 pages and described to US officials the prospect of Saudi action to return the Yemeni ruler.

Daniel Edelman Inc.

Contract date: 2017/05/05

Contractor: General Investment Council

Type of service: Edelman Inc. is an Employment Attorney in Washington, New York and the United Nations which works for the benefit of Saudi Arabia. The company received $ 190,000 for a promotional work including a logo, a booklet and a video clip.

Saudi Refining Company

Contract date: 1989/05/12

Contractor: Oil Company (Aramco)

Type of service: Public relations and investment support

Hogan Lovells

Contract date: 2007/9/24

Contractor: Saudi Embassy

Type of service: Receiving $ 125,000 per month in return for providing advice on legal, judicial, and organizational activities and general policies - Focusing on Iran

Burson-Marsteller

Contract date: 2017/01/27

Contractor: The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition

Type of service: The contract was signed by Saudi Defense Minister Mohamed bin Salman to promote the "Military Counter Terrorism Coalition." From the terms of the agreement, Burson-Marsteller has been planning the recruitment of senior American and British officers to launch a military coalition.

DLA Piper

Contract date: 2016/05/31

Contractor: Saudi Foreign Ministry

Type of service: The purpose of this contract is to block JASTA, with a monthly payment of $ 5,000.

Harper Group, Inc.

Contract date: 2017/06/06

Contractor: Saudi Embassy

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM)

Contract date: 1999/07/21

Contractor: Oil Company (Aramco)

Aramco Service Company (AASC)

Contract date: 2016/11/14

Contractor: Oil Company (Aramco)

Konig & Spalding

Contract date: 2016/09/26

Contractor: Ministry of Commerce and Investment

HOV Health International Group

Contract date: 2016/10/26

Contractor: Saudi Government

PGR Public Service Group

Contract date: 2016/03/15

Contractor: Center for Research and Media of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Type of service: Promotion of Public Relations and Media Management Services for a monthly fee of $ 500,000

The contract was signed by Ed Rogers, a member of the Foreign Relations Commission and former government officials of Ronald Reagan.

MSL Group

Contract date: 2002/03/06

Contractor: Saudi Embassy

Type of service: This is the main group that has been tasked with pushing for Saudi Arabia's interests by the beginning of 2017. According to reports, this group received $ 7 million for its activities in April-September 2015.

"Just Counseling" Group

Contract date: 2012/10/09

Contractor: Islamic Cooperation Organization

Type of service: Public relations

Rousseau Dominic

Contract date: 2016/10/20

Contractor: General Investment Council

Type of service: Public relations and investment support

Capital Media Group

Contract date: 2017/01/31

Contractor: Saudi Embassy

Sonoran Policy Group Inc.

Contract date: 2017/05/15

Contractor: Ministry of Interior

Type of service: Providing advice to the Saudi Ministry of Interior on business and government affairs for $5.4 million

The group is managed by former Donald Trump advisers to US President Donald Trump.

Macon Group

Contract date: 2016/11/16

Contractor: Saudi Government

Type of service: to support Saudi Arabia; political counseling and putting pressure on JASTA.

Squire Patton Boggs

Contract date: 2016/09/20

Contractor: Center for Research and Media of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Type of service: legal and strategic consulting in the field of foreign policy with a monthly payment of $100,000

Senator John Breaux and Senator Trent Lott are two of the influential senators involved in this contract

CGCN Group

Contract date: 2016/11/30

Contractor: Saudi Embassy

Subcontracting through the Glover Park Group

PODiSTA

Contract date: 2015/09/07

Contractor: Center for Research and Media of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


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