Over objections of Obama Administration, Federal Appeals Court overturns Saudi immunity, allows lawsuits against Kingdom to proceed

–The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
yesterday overturned a 2005 Federal Court decision that the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was immune from civil lawsuits arising from
the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, allowing the 9/11 families and
insurance companies to resume their lawsuit against the Kingdom.

The KSA, various Saudi royals, and the Saudi High Commission, a
government-established “charity,” were dismissed as defendants in
2005 by U.S. District Judge Richard Conway Casey, who said the
government’s support for Islamist “charities” that supported
al-Qaeda did not make it responsible for 9/11. The Obama
Administration intervened in the case to support the Kingdom,
filing a brief in 2009 arguing for sovereign immunity for the
Kingdom. However, on Feb. 19, the Appeals Court , holding that “the
circumstances of this case are `extraordinary,'” reversed the
district court ruling, and sent the case back to the lower court
“for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

The NY Daily News reports that a spokesman for the 9/11 families
said Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission knowingly
provided Al Qaeda with funds and other support, that helped the
terrorist group carry out the 9/11 attacks. “I’m ecstatic,
because we have a lot of information and evidence,” said William
Doyle, whose son was killed in the attacks on the World Trade
Center. “These people are getting off scot-free. They didn’t even
get a slap on the wrist, and to this day we still have terrorism
running rampant. We have to hold accountable the people who
finance terrorism,” Doyle added.

Former U.S. Senators, Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Bob Kerrey
(D-Neb.), who co-chaired the two major official investigations of
the 9/11 atttacks, submitted affidavits in this case in 2012,
stating that a Saudi government agent, along with other Saudi
officials, played a key role during the lead-up to the attacks.
“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least
some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks
and the government of Saudi Arabia,” Graham said in his
affidavit, citing, among other things, the San Diego case of
Saudi government Omar al Bayoumi, who provided direct assistance
to two of the 9/11 hijackers.

The Second Circuit ruling comes just as there is heightened
attention in Congress, and a breakout of media coverage, on the
efforts to force the release of the censored 28 pages from
Graham’s Congressional Joint Inquiry, which pages reportedly deal
with Saudi financing and support for the 9/11 hijackers.

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