World

Zacarias Moussaoui Says Saudi Arabia Funded Al-Qaida

| by Arthur Kogan
Zacarias Moussaoui.Zacarias Moussaoui.

Zacarias Moussaoui, a 9/11 hijacker who pleaded guilty to six terror-related charges, has recently made alarming and strong allegations in a brief submitted on Feb. 3 as part of an ongoing case by families of 9/11 victims.

According to CNN, Moussaoui made several claims regarding the Saudi royal family and other plots against the U.S. that he was involved in. In exchange for his testimony, Moussaoui asked for certain benefits, including a request for a warmer cell in a different area of the prison.

Moussaoui’s statements have been questioned over the years and his credibility is considered unreliable.

Moussaoui claims his job in the late 1990s was to create a digital database, entering the names of al-Qaida’s donors. The list he gathered included high-profile people, including several members of the Saudi royal family. Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, former director-general of Saudi Arabia's Foreign Intelligence Service and ambassador to the U.S. was one of the people he mentioned.

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Moussaoui also claims he met with members of the royal family on more than one occasion to hand-deliver letters to and from al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey told CNN on Jan. 30 that further investigations should be made in light of this new information but could not verify Moussaoui’s allegations.

According to the 9/11 Commission’s report released in 2004, there is no evidence the Saudi government funded al-Qaida.

"There is no evidence to support Moussaoui's claim. The Sept. 11 attack has been the most intensely investigated crime in history and the findings show no involvement by the Saudi government or Saudi officials,” said a statement released by the Saudi Embassy in Washington regarding Moussaoui’s claims.

"Moussaoui is a deranged criminal whose own lawyers presented evidence that he was mentally incompetent. His words have no credibility," the statement said. "(Moussaoui's) goal in making these statements only serves to get attention for himself and try to do what he could not do through acts of terrorism — to undermine Saudi-U.S. relations."

Moussaoui also claims to have been involved in other plots against the U.S. He claims he was given explosives to attack the U.S. Embassy in London, which was eventually cancelled. He says was then sent to Malaysia to attack the U.S. Embassy there, which was also cancelled. Moussaoui also told attorneys he went to the U.S. to potentially attack Air Force One, the plane reserved for the use of the U.S. president.

"My plan was not to launch the attack," he said in the statement. "It was only to see the feasibility of the attack."

Mental health experts who have assessed Moussaoui claim he is a paranoid schizophrenic and suffers from delusions. Moussaoui has often made irrational claims to guards and has shown unnatural and questionable behavior during a trial in 2006 where he often made loud and disruptive outbursts.

Sources: CNN, CNN (2),   Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons