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9/11 Victims Sue Saudi Arabia For Helping Al Qaeda

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The families of more than 800 9/11 victims have filed a lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, alleging that country's government was complicit in the largest terrorist attack ever on American soil.

According to the lawsuit, Saudi Arabia helped facilitate Al Qaeda "through a network of the kingdom’s officers, employees and/or agents who met with and aided the hijackers, providing them with money, cover, advice, contacts, transportation, assistance with language and U.S. culture, identification, access to pilot training and other material support and resources."

But the collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda began long before the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, the lawsuit claims.

"In 1986 to 1989, Saudi Arabia’s (charities) collaborated with Osama bin Laden to open offices in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a means to establish al Qaeda and provide material support and resources for its terrorist operations, and a top ranking Saudi Arabia official together with other officials, employees and agents of Saudi Arabia joined in this effort," the suit alleges, according to the New York Daily News.

And throughout the late 1980s, the Saudi government "adopted an extremist version of Islam -- Wahhabism -- as the state religion; declared that its propagation was a core function of the state; and sought to advance it around the world through Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Embassies, Saudi Arabia's charity organizations and other government agents."

Saudi Arabia's adoption of the Wahabbism and Islamic extremism that led the oil-rich country and U.S. ally to join forces with Al Qaeda "to pursue and carry out terrorist attacks against the United States, and used Wahhabism to justify its campaign of anti-American violence."

Meanwhile, the lawsuit contends, "Saudi Arabia’s charitable organizations and Saudi Arabia's officials, employees and agents continued to provide material support and resources for al Qaeda through and including September 11, 2001."

"The Saudis were so duplicitous," said attorney Jim Kreindler, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the victims' families, according to WPIX. "They claim to be allies fighting with U.S. against Iran, while at the same time working with the terrorists. There’s no question they had a hand in the 9/11 attacks."

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudi nationals, and three were former employees of the Saudi government.

That connection has always raised some suspicion about whether or not the Saudi government knew more than originally indicated, but those suspicions were given some validity in 2016 when 28 previously classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report was released by the U.S. government.

Those pages indicate that several actors within the Saudi government had connections to the hijackers.

"While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. ... [A]t least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers," one excerpt from the 28-page report says, according to Foreign Policy.

Sources: WPIX, New York Daily News, Foreign Policy / Photo credit: 9/11 Photos/Flickr

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